South Korea-based electronics maker LG said it experienced higher demand for its premium television sets and related accessories during the key holiday shopping season, but said overall sales of its home entertainment products were sluggish compared to one year ago.
On Thursday, LG said its home entertainment division brought in ₩4.6 trillion (around U.S. $3.443 billion) during Q4 2023, spurred by holiday shoppers who were attracted to its premium OLED television sets and high-fidelity sound bars. The figure was around 16.5 percent higher on a sequential basis, but 7.4 percent lower than the ₩4.9 trillion (around U.S. $3.67 billion) LG brought in from TV and soundbar sales during the 2022 holiday shopping quarter.
LG said its operating loss during Q4 2023 was 1.7 percent, down from a loss of over 6 percent one year prior, owed in part to a reduction in marketing spend and other “enhanced efficiencies in resource management.”
Things are likely to be better this year, executives said, affirming LG expects to see a “gradual recovery in TV demand,” though the company cautioned that “uncertainties regarding the recovery of consumer sentiment still exist.”
Losses in its home entertainment division were covered by gains in its home appliance and automotive categories, which posted sizable year-over increases in sales, according to financial information reviewed by The Desk.
In addition to sales of its premium television sets, LG generates revenue through its LG Ad Solutions advertising business, which provides marketers with inventory sold against the home screen and certain free streaming content found on its Internet-connected TV sets. Last July, LG CEO William Cho outlined plans to shift its core focus away from hardware and appliance-based sales toward platform-based opportunities that generate recurring revenue from customers.
“LG will continue to pursue its bold vision to transform and leap forward as a smart life solution company that connects and expands customers’ various spaces and experiences, rather than resting on its current position as the best home appliance brand that provides quality product,” Cho said.
On the connected TV front, LG said it would harness the power of its webOS streaming TV platform in pursuit of new advertising-based opportunities. Among other things, LG committed more than ₩1 trillion (around U.S. $748 million) toward developing its various platforms, including the free streaming service LG Channels, with an eye toward advertising. The money will be spent over the course of five years.
LG also said it would embark on a number of new initiatives to help grow the number of people using its streaming platform, webOS. That includes licensing webOS to third-party TV manufacturers and allowing webOS to be installed on non-TV devices, which the company said would help it “achieve quantitative growth.”