LG Says 16.8 Million Smartphones Sold in Q3; Profit More Than Doubled

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LG Says 16.8 Million Smartphones Sold in Q3; Profit More Than Doubled
South Korea's LG Electronics Inc on Wednesday said its July-September operating profit more than doubled from a year earlier as earnings from its mobile business surged to a five-year high.

The world's No. 2 television maker after domestic rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said profits for its TV business grew 5.2 percent from a year earlier, while smartphone shipments rose to a fresh record.

"LG's earnings reflected strong performance from its mobile business," the company said in a statement.

LG reported an operating profit of KRW 461 billion (roughly Rs. 2,600 crores), better than a KRW 454 billion mean estimate from a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 36 analysts.

LG's mobile division turned a KRW 167 billion (roughly Rs. 970 crores) operating profit, its highest since the third quarter of 2009 and compared with a KRW 79.7 billion (roughly Rs. 460 crores) loss a year ago, thanks in part to strong shipments for the flagship LG G3 (Review | Pictures) smartphone.

The pickup contrasts with domestic rival Samsung, which is expected to report its weakest quarterly operating profit in more than three years on Thursday, following a lacklustre run of new product launches.

While LG does not disclose individual product numbers, IM Investment analyst Kim Woon-ho estimated before the earnings disclosure that LG likely shipped a little over 3 million G3s during the period.

LG said it shipped 16.8 million smartphones during the third quarter, a record but well below Samsung, which some analysts estimate shipped more than 80 million units.

LG's TV division reported a KRW 131 billion (roughly Rs. 760 crores) operating profit, compared with KRW 124 billion (roughly Rs. 700 crores) a year ago as sales of high-end products like ultra high-definition TVs grew. On Tuesday the company said it would wind down its plasma television business by end-November, signalling an imminent demise for a technology that has been overtaken by liquid crystal display.

Shares of LG Electronics extended gains following the results and were last up 4.2 percent in afternoon trade compared with a 1.7 percent rise for the broader market.

© Thomson Reuters 2014

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