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LG beats expectations with strong TV sales in Q1

South Korean electronics giant records an operating profit of $487 million, an increase of 44 percent year-over-year.

Nexus 5
LG's Nexus 5. Josh Miller/CNET

LG Electronics beat analysts' prediction for its first quarter as demand for high-end TVs helped offset losses in its handset division.

The South Korean electronics giant posted an operating profit of 504 billion Korean won ($487 million) for the three-month period ended March 31, an increase of 44 percent year-over-year. Analysts polled by Bloomberg had estimated the company would record 285.4 billion won.

The company said its net income rose to 74.9 billion won from 24.2 billion won in the year-ago period, an increase of 209 percent.

LG's mobile division recorded an operating loss of 8.8 billion won for the first quarter compared with a gain of 132 billion won for the year-ago period. The unit shipped 12.3 million smartphones in the quarter, an increase of 19 percent year-over-year but a 7 percent decline on quarter. The company also said its LTE sales increased 76 percent year over year due to better market performance by its G2 and Nexus 5 smartphones.

LG said it expects growth in the smartphone market, especially LTE. But it warned that competition for market share will be intensified due to changing consumer needs and increasing price competition.

Meanwhile, the Seoul-based company's home entertainment division, which makes TVs, posted an operating profit of 240.3 billion won. The company credited lower fixed and material costs for the unit's performance and predicted slight growth year over year in the LCD market. Demand for Ultra HD TVs is also expected to see continuous growth, especially in China.

LG's home-appliance division recorded an operating profit of 109.2 billion won.