Seoul, South Korea - LG Electronics reported a first quarter net profit on lower sales as demand for flat-panel TVs grew while the handset market lagged.
Net profit was $607 million, up from a loss of $180 million from the prior year. Sales were $12.3 billion for the quarter, ended March 31, up 3.7 percent from the prior year's opening quarter.
By sector, LG's home entertainment recorded a 20.5 percent gain in sales and an operating profit of $163.9 million, compared with a loss of $900,000 in the first quarter of last year.
LG reported LCD TV shipments were up 62 percent year on year while PDP TV shipments grew 36 percent in large screens.
In mobile handsets, sales were down 19.7 percent in the quarter compared with last year, with operating profit at $25.2 million, down from $224 million in the prior year.
North American sales declined due to a demand shift to smartphones, LG reported.
In home appliances, sales were up 8 percent, with operating profits at $186.4 million, up from the first quarter of last year, which reached $119.8 million. Much of the sales growth was sparked demand in North America and Asia, with China leading with 8 percent year-on-year growth.