LG posts record smartphone shipment for Q3

LG Electronics has moved the highest ever number of smartphones for the third quarter of the year thanks to its highly-successful G3 handset and its derivatives.

Korea's second largest handset maker said it shipped 16.8 million smartphones in the July-September period, its highest ever for a business quarter. It toppled LG's previous record set in the second quarter of the year of 14.5 million units. It is also 39 percent higher than the 12 million posted in last year's third quarter.

Image: LG

LG said popularity of its flagship G series and budget model L series were the main contributors of the record. The company moved a total of 21.8 million cell phones in the quarter, 77 percent of them smartphones, and 6.5 million them with long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity.

The company has struggled for years to revive its mobile vision after failing to enter the smartphone market in a timely manner, much like Nokia, Microsoft, and Samsung.

The electronics giant made a total of 461.3 billion won ($440 million) in operating profits for the quarter, in which 167.4 billion won ($159 million), or 36 percent, came from its mobile division. It is the highest contribution to profits from the company's mobile division in five years since it started its smartphone business in 2010.

It posted revenues of 14.91 trillion won ($14.2 billion).

LG's mobile division, called Mobile Communications Company by the firm, turned to profit starting in the second quarter of the year backed by the launch of the G3 in May, which has since then shown steady growth .

The Yeouido, Seoul-based company's home entertainment division posted a operating profit of 130.5 billion won ($124 million), a fall of 3 percent from a year ago and 7 percent from the previous quarter, due to lowered demands for plastic display panel TVs, monitors, and AVs.

Its home appliance company, and air-conditioning and energy solution company posted respectively a marginal profit of 51.8 billion won ($49.45 million) and loss of 2.5 billion won ($2.3 million) due the quarter being low demand season.

LG said it will increase sales of LTE models of its popular G series for the fourth quarter to meet the expected high demand during the holiday season. High demand for ultra high definition liquid crystal display TVs and increased sales of digital signage in the B2B area will fuel growth, it added.

"We expected LG's profits for the fourth quarter to be cut in half due to increased competition from Apple's iPhone 6 abroad and slowdown of sales in the local market," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Securities, in a call with ZDNet Korea.