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LG Electronics shoots for the stars

The Far Eastern consumer electronics behemoth says its regional operations could run up a staggering $1 billion in sales this year.

LG Electronics, a consumer electronics manufacturer, claims that it’s on target to generate US $1 billion in revenues in the Middle East and Africa this year. That bold prediction comes after half yearly turnover of US $491.22 million was reported.

“In February we predicted 15% regional sales growth to US$920 million in 2001, but with half yearly sales of US $491.22 million due to innovative marketing campaigns and events, the launch of cutting edge digital products with more to come, we are set to beat that forecast,” said M.B. Shin, president, LG Electronics, Middle East and Africa Operations.

LG said that Iran was a particularly fertile market. Strong television sales there helped push 2001’s half yearly figures to US $97.9 million, compared with total sales for 2000 of US $129 million. How US companies, still prevented from legally trading with Iran, must be admiring those figures.

Highlights in the UAE included the launch of a hybrid LCD monitor/television. That propelled sales towards $65.16 million for the first six months, compared to 2000’s total of US $88 million.

In Saudi Arabia, it was sales of washing machines, monitors and air conditioners that hiked half yearly figures upwards. Turnover for the first six months was US $61.4 million, compared to US $93 million for 2000.

First quarter product highlights included LG’s entry into the system A/C market and the introduction of a 40-inch flatron plasma screen. Other developments included a US$10 million investment in a sales subsidiary in Egypt.

The company has also introduced an online B2B service, which allows business partners to issue online orders, check stocks, enquire about pricing and download service manuals.

“Currently around 78% of our customers in 50 countries are using this service with orders from US$1 to US$86,870,” said Y.R. Roh, managing director, LGEME. “We are targeting 100% adoption by 2002.”

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