LG Household & Health Care Ltd., South Korea's No. 2 cosmetics and household goods maker, said Tuesday it racked up a solid profit in the third quarter of this year on the back of its high-end cosmetic brands, despite concerns over a setback from a diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing over a U.S. anti-missile system here.
Its operating profit came to 253 billion won (US$224 million) in the July-September period, up 3.5 percent from 244 billion won tallied the previous year, the company said in a regulatory filing. Sales reached 1.6 trillion won, also up 2.9 percent from a year earlier.
LG Household & Health Care said the figures are the highest-ever for any third-quarter earnings.
"While many companies faced difficulties from the beginning of the year due to the THAAD deployment and a sharp decline of inbound Chinese travelers, differentiated strategy with focus on luxury cosmetics and a balanced business portfolio resulted in record-high results," the company said in a press release.
South Korean retailers have been suffering from a decline in the number of Chinese tourists after the Beijing government banned its travel agencies from selling Korea-bound tour packages in apparent retaliation over Seoul's deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
LG Household & Health Care's net income, meanwhile, stood at 188 billion won during the period, down 2.4 percent from the same months last year.
Its mainstay cosmetics unit, which accounts for over half of its entire revenue, posted a 7.7 percent on-year rise to an operating income of 142 billion won, with the sales gaining 5 percent to 779 billion won from a year ago.
Its high-end skin care lineups Whoo and su:m have been leading cosmetics growth by each posting 1 trillion won and 300 billion won in sales this year as of early October, according to the company.
The operating income of household products inched down 3.2 percent to 66 billion won over the cited period, with sales dropping 0.8 percent to 436 billion won.
Its beverages unit logged a 1.2-percent on-year gain to 46 billion won in operating profit. Its sales came to 394 billion won, up 3 percent from a year earlier, according to the company.
Shares of LG Household & Health Care shot up 6.5 percent to a record high of 1,131,000 won on the main bourse, while the broader KOSPI gained 0.02 percent. The earnings results were disclosed during trading hours.