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LG reports fast growth in German TV market

BERLIN -- LG Electronics has been seeing fast growth in Germany's television market over the past year, despite the economic slowdown in the region stemming from the eurozone crisis.

The Korean tech company saw its market share in Germany, which accounts for 25 percent of EU demand, rise to 10 percent from 7 percent last year.

With Japanese TV makers such as Sony, Sharp and Panasonic having gone through restructuring and lackluster sales, LG is left competing in Germany with Samsung Electronics and Philips.

Song Ki-ju, CEO of LG Electronics Germany, said the company will use this chance and time to gain an edge over Samsung to become the top brand in the region next year.

It will boost its presence in Germany by continuously targeting the premium TV market, where LG mainly focuses on marketing high-end 47, 55, 65 and 72-inch TVs, Song told the press on the sideline of the IFA electronics tradeshow.

Samsung has the biggest market share of some 30 percent, followed by Philips' 12 percent, which dropped from 15 percent last year.

Philips' declining share is pushing LG to close in on Samsung. TP Vision, a Chinese joint venture of which 70 percent is owned by China-based TPV Technology and 30 percent by Philips, produces and markets Philips' TVs.

In July alone, LG came in second after Samsung in the premium TV segment, largely thanks to the company's 55-inch TV with dual-vision features that became its top-seller in Germany, Song noted, citing market data.

The other winning factor for LG is that Samsung does not offer TVs larger than 60 inches, while LG does.

Also, Song said that German consumers, who usually seek large TV sets as most households have large living rooms, see LG brands as having quality resolution, and 3D and smart technology features, while Samsung is generally known for their 2D smart TVs.

LG especially sees this as a good sign as there is an increase in 3D content on German broadcasting networks.

The market can expect LG and Samsung to have neck-and-neck competition in Germany, leading toward Korean brands to account for 50 percent of the total by the end of this year, the CEO said.

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