LG Elec aims to sell up to 5 mln LED TVs in 2010

SEOUL, June 25 (Reuters) - LG Electronics Inc 066570.KS on Thursday launched liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions using light-emitting diodes (LED) as light source and said it was aiming to sell as many as 5 million units in 2010.

The South Korean flat-screen TV maker also reiterated its previously stated goal of selling 18 million LCD sets in 2009, becoming the world's second-largest maker of LCD televisions after bigger home rival Samsung Electronics 005930.KS and ahead of Japan's Sony 6758.T.

Despite a global economic downturn that has devastated the consumer electronics sector worldwide, makers of flat screen televisions have managed to weather the slowdown better than other industries.

LG and Samsung are betting on LED-backlit LCD televisions as future profit drivers in their display divisions. LED television sets are about a third thinner than more traditional models using cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs), have a longer lifespan and offer more vivid images, with greater contrast and colour range.

Simon Kang, chief executive of LG’s home entertainment division, said the company was on track to achieve its earlier stated target of 18 million LCD televisions, adding internal targets could be “stretched” even more.

LG said LED televisions, which represent only 2.6 percent of the total LCD set market in 2009, could represent as much as 20 percent of the market in 2010 and 40 percent of the total market in 2011. (Reporting by Marie-France Han, editing by Jacqueline Wong)