LG Electronics' 1Q profit soars 96 fold on fridges, TVs

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LG Electronics Inc. has reported a stunning jump in its first-quarter earnings.

The South Korean company said Thursday it earned 191 billion won ($168 million) in the January-March period, compared with 2 billion won a year earlier. The results were its best since mid-2014.

Operating profit jumped 66 percent to 505 billion won ($443 million) even as sales declined 5 percent to 13.4 trillion won ($11.8 billion).

The big jump shows that LG's efforts to burnish its reputation as a premium home appliance maker are paying off.

LG's high-end refrigerators, washing machines and other home appliances contributed most to its bottom line while premium TVs made of advanced displays called OLED also improved its margin.

Mobile business however lost money due to marketing expenses to promote the new G5 smartphone.