LG Chem, South Korea\'s leading chemical maker, said Wednesday that its second-quarter earnings dropped 3.3 percent from a year earlier mainly due to falling prices of key products. Net income reached 625 billion won (US$592 million) in the April-June period, compared with a profit of 646 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing. Sales jumped 13.4 percent to an all-time high of 5.69 trillion won over the cited period while operating profit sank 6.3 percent to 786.15 billion won, the company said. Shares of LG Chem closed at 493,500 won on the Seoul bourse on Wednesday, up 1.44 percent from the previous day\'s close. The second-quarter earnings were released after the market closed. \"We saw second-quarter sales increase, but profitability worsened as the global prices of chemical products fell,\" LG Chem said in a release. The company\'s mainstream petrochemical division recorded 4.34 trillion won in sales in the second quarter and logged an operating profit of 642 billion won. LG Chem said the petrochemical division had a stable performance despite challenging market conditions and surging commodity prices. The company forecast that its third-quarter profit from the petrochemical business will improve thanks to strong demand and its expansion efforts. LG Chem also said its information technology material division posted an operating profit of 139 billion won on sales of 1.33 trillion in the second quarter.