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LG Electronics' mobile business logs first loss in 6 quarters as smartphone competition bites

SEOUL, South Korea – LG Electronics said Thursday its mobile communications division suffered its first operating loss in more than a year, dragging down the company’s overall earnings for the third quarter.

The mobile business lost 77.6 billion won ($68 million) for the July-September quarter. The South Korean company’s overall net income sank 48 per cent over a year earlier to 83.7 billion won, far below the 146.5 billion won forecast in survey of analyst by financial data provider FactSet.

LG said it shipped 15 million smartphones during the quarter but its smartphones could not command high prices. The company said its mobile business will likely improve its performance during the current quarter as it began sales of the V10 smartphone and the Nexus 5X smartphone.

LG’s TV business turned profitable for the first time in three quarters.

Its home appliance business, which makes washing machines and refrigerators, contributed more than 80 per cent of overall profit.

Sales fell 5 per cent to 14 trillion won. Operating profit slumped 37 per cent to 294 billion won.