LG gets GaGa on heavy TV and mobile business losses

LG has reported what it says is its first quarterly loss in nearly two years.

The company suffered the losses as the prices for its flat screen televisions fell and devices such as the iPhone ate into its mobile phone business.

In the last three months of December the company lost $229.4 million (256.4 billion won), compared to a net profit of $324 million (361.9 billion won) the same time in 2009.

This was despite sales in the fourth quarter rising 1.8 percent to 14.7 trillion won.

For all of 2010, LG’s net profit fell 45 percent to $1.14 billion (1.28 trillion won), while sales rose 0.1 percent to $50 billion (55.8 trillion won.)

With such flailing figures you’d think LG would want to tighten its belt, but someone up there in marketing doesn’t seem to have any concept of spend.

LG hired Lady Gaga earlier this month to parade around its massive and massively expensive stand at CES.

We contacted an agency that deals with the “hiring out” of stars and it told us the cost of using Lady Gaga at an event was around the $150,000 mark “plus additional expenses.” We presume this is flights – first class of course – as well as food, perhaps shelling out at the butchers for fresh meat for her dress, which also brings us to storage – there won’t be enough room to keep it fresh in the hotel’s mini-bar fridge.

As well as profit losses, LG reported $220 million (245.7 billion won) operating loss, compared with an operating profit of $102 (113.8 billion won) the year before.

Sales in LG’s mobile communications business, which includes phones, fell 14.7 percent to $3.72 billion (3.58 trillion won), the company said. Mobile phone handset sales rose 8 percent to 30.6 million devices in the fourth quarter from the third, but declined 10 percent from the year before.