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LG Electronics Posts Strong Quarter Profit on Handsets

South Korean mobile phone and appliance maker LG Electronics posted a strong quarterly profit on Wednesday, swinging from a year-ago loss, thanks to stellar earnings at its handset division and LCD panel venture.

A South Korean man walks past near the LG electronic's LCD and PDP products at the Yongsan Electronic shop in Seoul, Friday, April 7, 2006. LG Philips LCD company, headquartered in Seoul, manufactures liquid crystal display panels for mobile phones, notebook computers, desktop monitors, and high-definition television panels is scheduled to issue an earnings report Tuesday, April 11, 2006. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man
A South Korean man walks past near the LG electronic's LCD and PDP products at the Yongsan Electronic shop in Seoul, Friday, April 7, 2006. LG Philips LCD company, headquartered in Seoul, manufactures liquid crystal display panels for mobile phones, notebook computers, desktop monitors, and high-definition television panels is scheduled to issue an earnings report Tuesday, April 11, 2006. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)

LG, the world's No. 5 handset maker in 2007, reported a net profit of 422.2 billion won ($425.8 million) in the quarter ended March 31, rebounding from a 122.6 billion won loss incurred a year earlier.

The number was short of a 470 billion won forecast from eight analysts polled by Reuters.

Demand for LG's mobile phones and appliances is expected to support earnings for the rest of the year, boosted by a weaker won currency which makes LG's exports more competitive.

The outlook is slightly clouded for the firm's plasma display unit, which could come under increasing pressure from an intensifying pricing war.

Shares in LG, which has a market value of about $19 billion, rose 27 percent in the first quarter, against the wider market's 10 percent slide, on expectations of strong results. It is up gained 51 percent in the past two quarters.

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