SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Electronics Inc (066570.KS) posted third-quarter net profit that beat expectations thanks to a soft local currency that boosted its price competitiveness and a strong line-up of mobile phones.
LG reported a global-basis operating profit of 850 billion won ($732.9 million) in the third quarter, up from 571 billion won a year ago. This was above a consensus forecast of 757.8 billion won, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Quarterly net profit was 807 billion won, up sharply from a year ago when it was hit hard by currency-related losses. The figure also beat a consensus forecast for a 667 billion won net profit from Thomson Reuters.
The world's No. 3 mobile phone maker is headed for a weaker fourth quarter on higher marketing costs and price competition for its bread-and-butter handsets and flat-screen TV sets.
The recent recovery in the South Korean won is also posing a threat, as the local currency's weakness has helped LG to weather the global downturn.
Still, analysts are upbeat about a strong recovery in 2010 thanks to strong sales of new premium products, such as smartphones and TVs using light emitting diodes.
Shares in LG, which trails Nokia (Helsinki:NOK1V.HE - News) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) in mobile phones, have risen 58 percent so far this year compared with a 47 percent rise in the broader market (KSE:^KS11 - News).