LG International, the trading arm of South Korea’s LG Group, saw its operating profit climb 18.5 per cent year-on-year in 2020, on the back of the improved profitability in logistics, the company said on January 29 in a regulatory filing.

Data showed that the company’s yearly sales came to 11.28 trillion won ($10.1 billion), up 7.1 per cent from a year earlier, and its operating profit reached 159.8 billion won, up 18.5 per cent during the same period.

The operating profit marked a visible expansion during the last three months, logging 44.8 billion won, which was up 2,535.3 per cent from a year earlier. The quarterly revenue also rose 29 per cent to 3.37 trillion won.

Steering such growth was the logistics sector, which has benefited from the company’s expanded overseas business.

“The operating profit was largely attributable to the cost efficiency improvement in logistics and the stabilisation of the warehouse and delivery business,” the company said.

Also, the crude palm oil trading partly offset the deficits made in the sluggish coal market, officials added.

“This year, we shall seek to maximise the asset value and profit in the energy and palm [oil] sectors, while penetrating into the eco-friendly businesses,” said an official.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s fourth-largest conglomerate – in terms of assets as of end-2020 – is gearing to set up a new holding company to split its current affiliates.

The new holding company will have LG International, LG Hausys, LG MMA and Silicon Works under its umbrella and is to be managed by board of directors led by Koo Bon-joon, an uncle of current LG Group chairman Koo Kwang-mo and a younger brother of late LG Group chief Koo Bon-moo.

Group chairman Koo, great-grandson of founder Koo In-hwoi, will continue to focus on the group’s flagship businesses such as electronics, chemical and telecommunications.

The conglomerate’s split-off plan will be confirmed at the shareholders’ meeting in March.