LG posts profit on smartphone sales

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LG OptimusSouth Korean consumer electronics maker LG Electronics has reported a third straight quarterly profit as it sold more smartphones that run on a faster wireless network.

LG said its net profit totalled 157 billion won (£89.3 million) for the three months ending September 30, compared with a 414 billion won loss a year earlier.


The result was better than expected and sent its shares up 2% in Seoul.

The company lost money in the last two quarters of 2011 before returning to profit in the first quarter of this year when the mobile communications division made a small profit.

The company, which competes with Samsung and Sony in the TV business, has been struggling due to its slow response to the fast growth of the smartphone market. In 2011, LG's mobile communications division posted a 281 billion won operating loss.

LG said its mobile phone business was profitable in the latest quarter after the red ink in the previous quarter.

The company credited demand for smartphones that run on faster "LTE" networks, which are taking off in South Korea, Japan and the United States. It sold 14.4 million mobile phones during the three months, with smartphone sales accounting for half of the volume.

LG reported a quarterly operating profit of 221 billion won compared with a 32 billion won operating loss a year earlier. Sales fell 4% to 12.4 trillion won as LG sold fewer low-end mobile phones and the weak economy pressured demand for TVs.

Samsung said it expected 10% growth in PC sales by volume this year as it bets on new computers that are hybrids of laptops and tablets to lift sluggish PC demand.

Samsung's PC team chief said the company hoped the ATIV series of laptops and tablets, which are powered by a new version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, would help lift its sales at a difficult time for the PC industry. Samsung is among the many global PC makers hoping that Windows 8 will help them lure back consumers who have flocked to smartphones and tablets.

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