SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — LG Electronics Inc. reported a forecast-beating quarterly profit Thursday and gave an upbeat outlook for smartphone profitability as its mobile division ended a streak of losses.
Like other South Korean exporters, LG Electronics said the strength of the country's currency, the won, eroded its oversea profits. Still, the company's profit was better than expected as smartphone sales jumped to a record high and TV sales recovered ahead of the World Cup.
LG executives said solid sales of handset devices will help its mobile division stay profitable during the fall and winter, even as Apple Inc. is expected to unveil a bigger iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co. is likely to release new models.
"Even if we spend more on marketing expenses, profitability is expected to improve," chief financial officer David Jung told investors.
The South Korean consumer electronics company said its net income for the April-June quarter was 411.8 billion won ($400 million), compared with 155.5 billion won a year earlier.
The figure was more than a fourfold increase from the first quarter and also beat expectations. Analysts polled by financial data provider FactSet forecast 300.9 billion won income.
Operating profit rose 27 percent to 606.2 billion won while sales inched up 1 percent to 15.4 trillion won.
LG said its mobile division was profitable for the first time in a year thanks to strong sales of its flagship G3 smartphones and cheaper L-series phones in North America.
It sold a record 14.5 million smartphones during the latest quarter. About one third of those were devices that run on advanced wireless networks known as LTE, which were more profitable for the handset maker.
LG brought forward the global release dates of its new phones as part of efforts to turn around the performance of its smartphone business.
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