Seoul– LG Electronics on Thursday said it swung into the black in the third quarter due to strong sales of home appliances, but it continued to lose money in the handset business.

Net profit came to 336 billion won (US$298 million) in the July-September period, compared to a net loss of 81.5 billion won posted a year earlier, Yonhap news agency reported citing regulatory filing from LG Electronics.

Operating profit came to 516 billion won, also up 82.2 per cent from a year earlier, and sales advanced 15.1 per cent to reach 15.2 trillion won.

The figures are in line with a guidance report released earlier this month.

The company said its home appliances and air solution division posted an operating profit of 423 billion won, sharply up 26.1 per cent from a year earlier.

Sales also advanced 16.4 per cent on-year to reach 4.9 trillion won, the company added, citing expanded sales of air purifiers, clothes dryers and wireless vacuum cleaners.

LG also attributed its solid performance to expanded sales of premium products in overseas markets including North America, Europe and Asia.

As for the home entertainment division, its operating profit came to 458 billion won, a record quarterly high, driven by expanded sales of high-end televisions including organic light-emitting diode (OLED) models.

The division’s sales moved up 12 per cent on-year to reach 4.6 trillion won.

But despite strong sales from home appliances and TVs, LG posted an operating loss in the mobile division for the 10th consecutive quarter.

The mobile arm posted an operating loss of 375.3 billion won, due mainly to the rising production cost of smartphones and increased marketing costs.

LG, however, said sales moved up 7.9 per cent on-year to 2.8 trillion won helped by the steady shipment of its G6 flagship model, along with good demand for its budget Q6 smartphone series.

To revitalise the mobile division, LG said it will expand the global release of the V30 smartphone and also focus on promoting budget handsets.

The vehicle components arm posted an operating loss of 29 billion won as the company continued focusing on making investments, it added.

LG Electronics said it plans to expand sales of premium home appliances in the coming months, while continuing efforts to cut production costs.

The company said it will also continue making investments into its vehicle components business, saying demand from electric automobiles will continue to expand, as major carmakers from the US and Europe vowed to make aggressive inroads into the segment. (IANS)