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LG Electronics records 15 per cent sales growth
Dubai, UAE, 21 February 2001


The Korean giant says it is looking for a further 15 per cent rise in regional sales this year with the planned launch of new cutting-edge digital products.

"The digital era is reinvigorating the market with customers looking to replace analogue products with next generation technology," said Mr M.B. Shin, President, LGE Middle East & Africa Operations.

Televisions were LG's best-selling regional product line last year with sales in the Middle East and Africa rising from US $220 million in 1999 to US $237 million.

"We are now firmly established as the top TV supplier to the Middle East and Africa," said Shin.

Air conditioners were the next top-selling line with regional sales jumping 19% to US $151 million.

"LG is now the region's leading supplier of split ACs. Growth in this product segment has been fuelled by the introduction of leading-edge plasma health technology," said Shin. A further 26% sales increase in the sector is being targeted this year when we will focus strongly on sales of system air-conditioners.

"Given that the construction sector has been largely revitalized by higher oil prices, targets should be achievable," said Shin.

LG also took the region's top supplier slot for monitors and CD-ROMs with regional sales of monitors doubling last year to US $86 million and CD-Rom sales rising 60% to US $16 million.

"Gains in the I.T. sector have made us a major industry player," said Shin. "We are no longer perceived as a white goods manufacturer with a limited I.T. hold."

In geographical terms, sales in the UAE grew 10%, in Saudi Arabia they rose 33% while Tehran and Amman both recorded a 40% increase in business.

"Sales in the UAE last year amounted to US $38.3 million and we are looking to build that further this year by 43%," said Shin.

"We expect to meet this target because of our entry into the system AC market, the imminent launch of a new hi-tech security product which will again take us into a new sales segment, while at the same time strengthening LG's position in its more traditional fields."

Among products LG is planning to launch in the region are second-generation Flatron TVs, advanced MP3 products, new PDP products as well as an LCD projector.

"In Iran sales are strong because we supply T.V. kits to a local Iranian assembler while Amman's growth has to be viewed in the context of this office controlling the Levantine and Kuwaiti markets," said Shin.

"The Dubai branch figures of US $88 million, include the sales out of LGEGF, which is mostly re-exported. The Dubai branch is responsible for the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Yemen markets."

LG attributes its regional business gains to strategic marketing initiatives, strong links with local partners, a focused customer care program and continuous product leadership.

"Regional product launches over the past 12 months have included the introduction of the 33-inch multi-award-winning Flatron television, the twin deck CD player/recorder, the Turbo Rewind video recorder, new CD-Rom Drive and CD-Rewritable Recorder, a new 19" Flatron monitor, the Turbo Drum Direct Drive washing machine and a full range of new hi-tech system air conditioners.

The year also saw LGE Middle East evolve from a parts depot to a data bank when it was the first after-sales service company in the region to launch a 100% business on-line initiative - www.lgservice.com.

Shin has now pledged to continue to utilize e-business for the group's development and marketing throughout the region.

"All of us recognize that the world is in the grip of e-business fever. We will grab this opportunity and be a front runner in the field," he said. "Internet marketing will be supported by e-business initiatives and we will use e-business as a marketing tool."

LG's aggressive marketing style will continue throughout the year with the launch of social marketing campaigns in specific countries.

"We are now well established as a leader in sports marketing and are looking to extend our influence into the social/cultural arena," said Shin.

"We have begun with the signing of a one-year financial agreement with the UAE Red Crescent Society. We are now becoming involved in a number of Red Crescent events in the UAE, which we see as the first phase in a region wide program. We are also looking to initiate social marketing campaigns in Pakistan, Iran and Morocco."


For further information: Barbara Saunders, MCS - Marketing Communications Services, PO Box 20970, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Tel: + 9714 3452126; fax: + 9714 3460926
Email: mcsdubai@emirates.net.ae
Or for further information on the full range of LG products, visit: www.lge.com

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