Seoul, South Korea - LG Electronics rebounded to profitability in the first quarter, reporting a net profit of $214.9 million, following two straight quarters of net losses.
Unaudited consolidated financial results showed consolidated revenues of $10.8 billion, with an operating profit of $396.1 million.
LG's home entertainment unit saw operating profit nearly double in the quarter, year over year, to $191.9 million, on sales of $4.7 billion, which were down 6.8 percent compared with the first quarter of 2011. LG cited the sluggish European economy as elemental in the sales decline, but sales of richer-featured flat-screen TVs drove profitability.
The company's mobile communications business saw its operating profit more than triple quarter over quarter to $34.5 million. The gain was largely driven by strong higher-margin smartphone sales, the company said, though overall revenues declined 14 percent year over year to $2.2 billion, as a result of declining feature phone sales.
LG sold 13.7 million handsets in the first quarter, down from 17.7 million units shipped in the fourth quarter, but the company sharpened its operating profit margin to 1.4 percent vs. a 3.5 percent margin loss a year earlier.
LG's home appliance unit's operating profit grew 48 percent from the same period last year to $134.4 million, on a 2.7 percent decrease in revenues year over year to $2.2 billion, thanks to higher average sales price, better product mix and cost efficiency, the company said.
In air conditioning and energy solutions, operating profit more than doubled from last year's first quarter, to $71.6 million, on essentially flat year-over-year revenues of $ 1.1 billion. LG said it "is optimistic that government policies to promote the usage of energy-efficient products in homes and businesses will create new growth opportunities for the company, along with highly efficient commercial air conditioners."