By Kang Doo-soon and Lee Ha-yeon
South Korea’s leading petrochemical company LG Chem Ltd. reported strong earnings for the quarter ended March this year with all-time high revenue on brisk sales in its basic materials and chemicals business.
LG Chem in a disclosure statement Monday estimated its operating profit for the first three months this year rose 5.8 percent to 650.8 billion won ($607.9 million) from a quarter ago on record high revenue of 6.554 trillion won, up 1.9 percent on quarter. Against a year-ago period, its operating profit was down 18.3 percent, while sales rose 1.0 percent. Net profit gained 0.8 percent on year to 552.7 billion won.
The company attributed its stellar performance to its mainstay basic materials and chemicals business that posted an operating profit of 636.9 billion won on sales of 4.359 trillion won despite stronger Korean won and oil price hike.
Battery sales also delivered an operating profit of 2.1 billion won on revenue of 1.245 trillion won, contributing almost 20 percent to its total revenue. Brisk sales were driven by increased demand for batteries for electric vehicles, according to LG Chem.
“There still exist uncertainties related to exchange rate and oil prices, but we’ll make efforts to generate higher earnings by expanding high value-added products in the upcoming peak season,” said an official at the company. Its energy storage system business also is expected to see an 80 percent sales increase this year amid increasing power grid market at home and abroad, sources added.
Shares of LG Chem on Monday closed up 1.55 percent at 360,000 won from the previous session.