South Korea's LG Electronics reported a third quarter swing back to profit on Wednesday compared to a huge loss a year ago, after its mobile phone business moved back into the black.
Net profit of the country's second-largest mobile phone maker was 157.1 billion won (US$142.4 million) for July-September compared to a net loss of 415.3 billion won in the same 2011 period, LG said in a statement.
Operating profit stood at 220.5 billion won in a sharp turnaround from a loss of 31.9 billion won a year ago. It was higher than the average of 152 billion won forecast by six analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
Sales fell four per cent to 12.3 trillion won during the same period.
LG attributed the turnaround to improved smartphone sales in the third quarter, when the firm sold seven million units, a quarterly record and up nearly 60 per cent from a year ago.
LG recently rolled out a series of new models under its flagship Optimus line as it sought a bigger share of the lucrative smartphone market where it had for years lagged behind rivals like Samsung Electronics.
Its handset business -- a segment the company has flagged as a strong pillar of growth -- posted a third-quarter operating profit of 20.5 billion won compared to a loss of 139.9 billion won a year ago.
"Our strategy to cut shares of feature phones and increase sales of low- and mid-priced smartphones worked," LG said, adding it would "drastically" step up marketing efforts for smartphones during the upcoming year-end season.
Operating profit at the firm's TV unit remained flat as demand for its high-end TVs helped offset a general slowdown in a depressed global market.
LG is the world's second-largest flat-screen TV maker by shipments after Samsung.