SEOUL, April 29 (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Electronics Inc on Tuesday said its first-quarter operating profit rose 44 percent from a year earlier, beating analyst estimates, as growth in sales of high-end TV models helped offset losses from its handset business.
LG reported January-March operating profit of 504 billion won ($487 million), compared with the 279 billion won mean estimate of 37 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The world's second-largest TV maker after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd reported operating profit of 349 billion won a year earlier and 238 billion won in October-December.
The Korean manufacturer said its TV division ran an operating profit of 240 billion won from 11 billion won a year earlier. Its mobile phone unit ran a 9 billion won loss from 133 billion won profit.
Shares of LG Electronics rose 3 percent after the earnings announcement, versus a 0.2 percent fall in the wider market . ($1 = 1035.1500 Korean Won)
(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Christopher Cushing)