LG Electronics announced a “record-breaking” quarter for smartphone shipments, with sales and operating income at their highest levels since the third quarter of 2009.
The company shipped 16.8 million smartphones in the three months ended September, an increase of 39 per cent year-on-year, and up 16 per cent over the prior sequential quarter.
Operating income in the mobile communications unit was KRW167.4 billion ($160 million), compared with a prior-year loss of KRW79.7 billion, on revenue of KRW4.247 trillion, up 39 per cent.
LG’s results have been something of a mixed bag in recent years: it has now recorded two consecutive quarters of positive operating income from mobile, after three quarters of losses.
But it managed to end its last full year (2013) in the black, due to a strong start to the year.
Third-quarter sales of LTE devices more than doubled over the previous year, which was attributed to the global launch of the vendor’s flagship G3 smartphone.
The launch of G3 and stronger demand for the mid-tier L series devices also drove growth in North America.
Contrastingly, LG saw a decrease in shipments to South Korea (down 22 per cent compared with the prior sequential quarter) due to weaker demand in its home market.
The company said that looking forward, it expects to strengthen its global position through its G series and L series models, “despite the landscape becoming more competitive”.
It intends to “maximise sales in the premium segment especially for G3 and strengthen the mass-tier line-up with G3 variation modes and L-Series III”.
On a group level, the company reported a net profit of KRW202.6 billion, up 87 per cent year-on-year, on revenue of KRW14.92 trillion, up 7.4 per cent.
While mobile was highlighted as the star performer, the company also improved profitability in its home entertainment unit despite lower revenue, which was attributed to a better product mix.