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LG Mobile Business Aiming for 2011 Return to Profit

The troubled handset maker hopes new products, including a smartphone that records 3-D images, will help turnaround the unit

(Bloomberg) — LG Electronics Inc.'s troubled handset division is targeting a return to profit this year as it rolls out new products including smartphones capable of recording 3-D images.

The mobile-phone unit is "doing our work, reducing costs and raising revenue, and so we hope to accomplish that this year," division Chief Executive Officer Jong-Seok Park said on the sidelines of a press conference in Barcelona. The world's third-largest handset maker today unveiled new designs for tablet computers and high-end phones, including an update to its flagship Optimus smartphone.

LG's mobile-phone division last month reported a loss for a third straight quarter after smartphone sales lagged behind those of rivals Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. The company is betting on the Optimus devices, powered by Google Inc's Android software, to revive earnings.

The Seoul-based company is among a slew of device-makers vying for attention in Barcelona, where competitors including Samsung and ZTE Corp. are revealing new devices. Samsung last night gave reporters a first look at updated versions of its Galaxy S smartphone and Galaxy Tab tablet, both aimed at rivaling offerings from Apple.

The Optimus One became LG's first smartphone to sell more than 1 million units in November, about 40 days after its debut, according to the company. LG has also introduced a smartphone equipped with a dual-core processor, which makes Web browsing and gaming faster.

LG replaced its chief executive officer and overhauled management last year after it posted a record loss at its handset business.

Campbell is a reporter for Bloomberg News. Yang is a reporter for Bloomberg News.

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