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LG and Whirlpool Fiercely Vying for No. 1 Spot in Global Consumer Electronics Market
LG Electronics Ranked First in Q1 of 2020
LG and Whirlpool Fiercely Vying for No. 1 Spot in Global Consumer Electronics Market
  • By Michael Herh
  • May 13, 2020, 11:28
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LG Electronics and Whirlpool are solidifying their presence in the global market for consumer appliances, which include refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, and air conditioners other than TVs.

Sweden's Electrolux was once included in Big 3 together with LG Electronics and Whirlpool, but its profit size has sharply declined in the past few years.

LG Electronics' Home Appliances Division placed first in the global consumer electronics market in the first quarter of 2020 by posting 5.48 trillion won in sales and 753.5 billion won in operating profit. LG Electronics' operating profit eclipsed Whirlpool for the first time in 2017, and LG Electronics has maintained its No. 1 position globally for the third year.

In particular, LG Electronics' operating profit has been rising on the basis of strong sales of dryers, stylers, and dishwashers, and its operating margin nearly doubled from 7.6 percent in 2016 to 13.9 percent in the first quarter of 2020.

Whirlpool posted US$4,325 million in sales and US$260 million in operating profit in the first quarter of 2020. LG Electronics usually records a good business performance in the first half of the year when it can sell a large number of air conditioners, while Whirlpool performs better in the second half thanks to Black Friday effects.

Electrolux posted approximately 3,280.1 billion won in sales and 15.1 billion won in operating profit in the first quarter of 2020. Its gap with the two leading companies has widened further. In the premium home appliance market, its gap with LG Electronics is widening, and in the mid- to low-priced product market, its profitability is gradually weakening due to the hot pursuit of Chinese companies such as Haier, which has acquired GE’s home appliance division.

Samsung Electronics was ranked No. 1 in the North American consumer electronics market in 2019 and is increasing its market share with customized home appliances such as BESPOKE. Yet there is still a gap in sales with the two companies. The Consumer Electronics (CE) Division of Samsung Electronics has the Video Display (VD), Household Appliances, and Medical Devices Departments, but does not disclose separate sales and operating profits of each department, so it is difficult to compare the business performances of Samsung’s CE Division directly with Whirlpool or LG Electronics’ H&A Division.