LG Electronics said its mobile division had seen “the highest first-quarter revenue since introducing its first Android device in 2010,” although on a group level this was offset by declines in its TV unit.
Quarterly smartphone shipments of 15.4 million units were up 26 per cent year-on-year, but down 1 per cent from the lucrative Q4 period. The company cited strong growth in North America driven by its mass market devices, and a strong quarter-on-quarter growth in South Korea following the launch of G Flex2 (handset subsidy law reforms in its home market impacted the year-on-year comparison).
Operating income in the mobile communications unit was KRW72.9 billion, compared with a KRW7.3 billion loss in Q1 2014, on revenue of KRW3.6 trillion, up 5 per cent year-on-year. This marks the company’s fourth consecutive quarter of profit for this unit, after a period of mixed results.
The North American strength, coupled with its “efficient usage of resources”, were behind its profitability increase.
Noting that competition is likely to intensify following the recent launch of new flagship devices by rivals and intense battles in the mass market, it has strengthened its own premium position with the launch of G4, accompanied by new models in the mass segment.
On a group level, the company’s profit of KRW38.4 billion was down from KRW93 billion in the prior-year quarter, on revenue of KRW13.99 trillion, which was essentially flat year-on-year.
Its Home Entertainment unit slipped into the red, with the company citing issues including seasonality in North America, Europe, CIS and Latin America, and currency movements.