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LG Electronics eyes 15 pct growth in TV sales this year
By Lee Minji
SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean home appliance giant LG Electronics Inc. said Thursday it is targeting a 15 percent increase in sales of flat-panel TVs this year on the back of an expanded line-up that includes organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and full high-definition (HD) products.

   In a media conference in Seoul, LG's home entertainment business chief Kwon Hee-won said the company plans to achieve the target by rolling out 50 new models. Last year, LG logged a 5-percent on-year gain in its TV sales.

   "The TV market outlook is not really bright. The PDP market is sharply shrinking, and manufacturers, including LG, have stopped producing CRT TVs ... But we have to counter that and prepare for the market," said Kwon.

   Kwon's remarks come amid bleak circumstances in the TV industry. Market researcher DisplaySearch estimated 2012 TV sales at 237 million units, down from 248 million units in 2011 when shipments soared to a record high.

   LG's home entertainment business, which covers TV sales, also suffered a 4.9-percent on-year fall in its revenue last year.

   As part of efforts to boost profitability and jump-start demand for premium TVs, the No. 2 TV maker has been moving to introduce TVs with the latest technologies.

   LG rolled out 84-inch ultra-definition (UD) TVs in August and began taking orders for 55-inch OLED TVs last month. The company, which is set to begin shipments of the OLED TVs next week, said it has sold roughly 100 units of the model.

   Meanwhile, Kwon said the weakening of the Japanese yen is likely to have limited impact on the company, since its manufacturing operations in other countries are more affected by each local currency.

   The official, however, said it is likely to boost the price competitiveness of Japanese TV makers in the global market and pledged to step up efforts to expand its line-up and enhance customer value.

   mil@yna.co.kr
(END)
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