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Nexus 4, Optimus G help LG move record number of smartphones

LG Electronics moved a record number of smartphones during the first few months of 2013, helping the company boost its mobile business.

The South Korean firm shipped 10.3 million smartphone units during the first quarter of 2013, marking its best performance since entering the smartphone fray. Accordingly, LG raked in 3.21 trillion Korean won (£2 billion) worth of sales during Q1, an increase of 28.5 per cent from the same time last year.

Its improved mobile performance was largely attributed to the success of the Optimus G and Optimus L handsets, as well its partnership with Google on the Nexus 4. The year’s second quarter is expected to see further rises in mobile sales, with a series of new handsets, including the 5.5in Full HD Optimus G Pro, due for release.

However, despite the gains seen by LG’s mobile division, its overall business took a hit, with profits dropping significantly from just a year ago. The firm reported a net profit of $20.3 million (£13 million) for Q1 2013, down by a factor of 10 from Q1 2012’s $214 million (£140 million). The decline is in part blamed on weaker performance in LG’s TV unit.

Meanwhile, declines in iPad and iPhone demand led Apple to slash orders from LG Display, further sinking LG Electronics’ Q1 profits. Apple is LG Display’s largest customer, accounting for some 40 per cent of the firm’s business. Given concerns about the stability of Apple’s mobile business, LG will have to successfully diversify its panel business in the coming quarters.