April 25 - TV sales help LG Electronics report better-than-expected Q1 profits; world's second biggest TV maker brings forward launch of next generation flat screens. Arnold Gay reports.
NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4 BY 3 MATERIAL Cheered by a near doubling of profits at its TV division, LG Electronics is preparing to up the stakes, by bringing forward the launch of the next generation of flat screen TVs. The South Korean firm may introduce its organic light emitting display or OLED TV in May, well ahead of an original second half launch and before bigger rival Samsung. The move also pits South Korean technology firms against their Japanese rivals, who champion a different technology known as 4K. Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp all have this ultra-high definition format, setting the stage for a showdown between the two competing technologies. The South Koreans hold the edge presently. Samsung and LG are the two biggest firms in the flat screen TV business. LG's TV business posted $190 million in operating profit in the first quarter, while Samsung has forecast record profit of over $5 billion in the March quarter alone. In contrast, Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp are expected to post a combined $21 billion loss for the year, mostly from their TV operations. The South Korean firms will also be helped by performances from their other businesses. LG's handset business made money for a second consecutive quarter after six quarterly losses, while top smartphone maker Samsung, is expected to take the global mobile phone crown from Nokia. LG's first quarter operating profit jumped to over $390 million (448 billion won), comfortably beating a consensus profit forecast of $267 million (304 billion won). Samsung reports earnings Friday. Arnold Gay, Reuters.