There are now over a billion smartphone users worldwide, according to a report. (AP)
Seoul - 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 157.1bn won ($142.4m) for July-September compared to a net loss of 415.3bn won in the same 2011 period, LG said in a statement.
Operating profit stood at 220.5bn won in a sharp turnaround from a loss of 31.9bn won a year ago. It was higher than the average of 152bn won forecast by six analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
Sales fell 4% 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% 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 20.5bn won compared to a loss of 139.9bn 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.