, SEOUL, January 22 – South Korea\’s LG Electronics said Thursday it swung to a loss in the fourth quarter of 2008, hit by big shortfalls at its flat-screen panel unit and tougher competition.
Its net loss for the October-December period stood at 671 billion won (489 million dollars) compared to a 621 billion won net profit a year earlier.
Sales increased 12.2 percent to 6.59 trillion won, but the operating balance recorded a 309 billion won loss from a 154 billion won profit a year earlier.
"Because of the global economic slump, demand is likely to contract as competition within the industry will intensify," the company said in a statement.
"We face a less favourable business environment than last year. We will increase investment in key sectors, especially in research and development, design and brand image."
LG is South Korea\’s second largest electronics company after Samsung Electronics, making flat-screen TVs, mobile phones and appliances.