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LG G3 and TVs drive LG to double profits for 2014

The Korean company saw strong results in smartphones and televisions in the year it abandoned plasma TVs.

The LG G3 helped LG to record smartphone sales in the summer of 2014. Josh Miller/CNET

LG almost doubled its profit in 2014 thanks to demand for TVs and smartphones. The flagship LG G3 helped the Korean company to a 24 percent increase in phones sales over the previous year, although the last quarter saw an overall loss as LG ditched plasma TVs.

LG's total net profit for the year more than doubled to 501.40 billion won (around $475 million, £302 million or AU$586 million) over the total in 2013.

In the last three months of the year LG shifted 15.6 million smartphones. Added to previous quarters -- including a record 16.8 million devices shipped in the third quarter, when the G3 was launched -- total sales tipped 59.1 million. LG is one of the rivals creeping up on troubled market leader Samsung, which this week posted its fifth consecutive loss.

LG's last quarter of the year saw a net loss of 205.7 billion won (around $189 million). That's due to losses caused by the closure of the plasma television business as LG wrote off plasma in favour of a move towards OLED and Ultra HD.

Despite that, overall it was a good year for the home entertainment division; annual operating profit rose nearly a third to 509 billion won (around $482 million). And LG reckons demand for high-end OLED and Ultra HD 4K TVs will drive further growth, despite stiff competition from rivals.

LG's appliances business saw small growth in 2014. Looking ahead, the company says it will respond to the "expected sluggish overall demand this year by innovating in energy-efficient products and improving cost-competitiveness".