|LG Group chairman Koo Bon-moo|
LG Group said Sunday it would make its largest-ever investment of 20 trillion won in facilities and R&D this year in a bid to lead the markets and to help spur the slowing national economy.
The nation’s fourth largest conglomerate said it has finalized a plan to invest 14 trillion won in facilities and 6 trillion won in research and development, up 18.6 percent and 20 percent from last year, respectively.
LG affiliates have not yet decided how many people they will recruit this year, but the group said it would hire more than 15,000 new employees in total.
LG Group had about 125,000 people on its payroll as of late last year, 5,000 more than a year ago.
LG invested 16.8 trillion won last year, 400 billion won more than initially envisioned, and 19.4 trillion won in 2011, less than the earlier planned 21 trillion won due to sluggish markets.
By business divisions, LG plans to invest 13.4 trillion won in electronics, 3.5 trillion won in chemicals and 3.1 trillion won in telecommunication this year.
In electronics, much of the investment will go to LG Display’s production lines for super high-definition LCD panels for mobile devices, Organic Light Emitting Diode panels and oxide semiconductors; as well as LG Electronics’ new industrial complexes including those in Pyeongtaek and Magok in Gyeonggi Province, production lines for smartphones and televisions. Much will be spent also in expanding LG Innotech’s production lines for smartphone camera modules and touch screens for smartphones as well as printed circuit boards for tablet PCs.
In chemicals, LG Chem’s expansion of production lines for high-performance synthetic rubber, LCD glass substrates and optical films; LG Life Sciences’ medical production base in Osong, North Chungcheong Province; LG Household and Health Care’s “future growth” production base in Cheonan are key investment areas.
As for telecommunication and service, investment will be focused on LG Uplus providing an LTE service that is twice as fast and establishing a next-generation LTE network; LG CNS running a new data center in Busan and LG International Corp. expanding development of natural resources such as coal and petroleum.
LG’s major R&D projects include software for smartphones, ultra-HD TVs, OLED TVs and smart TVs, with the conglomerate speeding up development of flexible and transparent next-generation displays, aiming to develop a 60-inch transparent OLED panel by 2016. LG Innotech plans to develop next-generation LED devices and invest in R&D for automotive parts.
LG Chem is set to invest in developing high-capacity, high-power batteries for electric cars, high-quality LCD glass substrates and film-type patterned retarders, a technology employed in LG’s 3-D TVs.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com