|LS Group Chairman Koo Ja-yeol|
In his New Year address, Koo focused on four key areas ― increasing cash assets, investing in eco-friendly and new growth businesses, enhancing overseas capabilities and digital transformation ― as major tasks the conglomerate needs to tackle in the near future.
Koo spoke of his determination to bolster LS Group's ESG practices. ESG has become a keyword for investors in determining both the sustainability and future financial performance of companies.
"LS aims to produce early results in new business sectors, including smart technologies, solar power, energy storage systems (ESS), smart grids and vehicle components to contribute to the public's needs and to establish a virtuous cycle for companies and society to find growth," Koo said.
Industry watchers believe the Korean government's Green New Deal and Digital New Deal could energize the country's eco-friendly infrastructure, while LS is seeking to grab a bigger slice of that growing pie.
Since 2015, LS has been preparing for a digital transformation by investing in artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and smart energy technologies to help it transition into a digital and eco-friendly conglomerate.
LS Cable & Systems has made a name for itself in the global submarine cable market by winning orders from Taiwan, the U.S. and Netherlands worth over 1 trillion won last year. Under its Green New Deal initiatives, the government also plans to expand the number of wind power farms, which LS Cable & Systems seeks to acquire to become a leading global cable solutions company.
LS Electric aims to utilize its power and automation technologies in the ICT sector to provide smart systems and is developing a next-generation electricity grid to power towns and cities.
The company has prior experience in constructing solar photovoltaic power stations in Japan's Hokkaido and Hanamizuki regions as well as Korea's largest solar power station in Yeongam, South Jeolla Province.
LS-Nikko, meanwhile, is busy operating a fully-automated smart factory system called the Onsan Digital Smelter (ODS). The smart factory system was set up at LS-Nikko's Onsan copper smelting plant in southeastern Korea, which is the second-largest in the world. LS aims to turn it into the world's first eco-friendly smelting factory. Industry watchers believe the ODS system will not only become LS-Nikko's future growth engine, but also the conglomerate's.