The big picture: LG’s mobile arm is essentially on life support but they aren't waving the white flag just yet. A new 5G phone and the relocation of its smartphone manufacturing center could create some positive momentum heading into the remainder of 2019 but will it be enough to turn the tide?

The division brought in KRW 1.51 trillion ($1.34 billion) in the first quarter of 2019, a 30 percent drop compared to the same period a year ago and the lowest level of revenue for LG Mobile in roughly eight years.

The South Korean technology company said it narrowed its quarterly operating loss to KRW 203.5 billion ($181.05 million) as it continues to rebuild its smartphone business.

LG last November put TV boss Brian Kwon in charge of its mobile division in hopes that he could right the ship. The company said operating results improved from the previous quarter as a result of a stronger business structure, so there’s that.

The tech giant expects the LG V50 ThinQ 5G smartphone to create positive momentum in the second quarter. Additionally, moving smartphone manufacturing operations from Pyeongtaek, Korea, to Haiphong, Vietnam, should help boost global competitiveness while improving profitability, we’re told.

LG Electronics as a whole generated sales of KRW 14.92 trillion ($13.27 billion) and an operating profit of KRW 900.6 billion ($801.25 million). Revenue and operating income was down compared to 2018 but on a positive note, the company’s home appliance business reported record first-quarter sales and profits.

Lead image courtesy Grzegorz Czapski via Shutterstock