Korean handset vendor LG Electronics bucked the economic trend, experiencing strong growth in the mobile space during the third quarter.

On Monday the firm reported that operating profit for its Mobile Communications division climbed to KRW387bn (Eur224m), from KRW227bn in the same period last year. Sales at the unit increased 30 per cent to KRW3.8tn.

At a group level, LGE posted a net profit of KRW25bn, which is KRW314bn lower than the same period a year earlier.

LG shipped 23 million handsets over the three month period, a year on year growth of 5 per cent, but warned of slow sales in India and emerging markets. Nevertheless, the company said it is seeing good demand for high end models such as Secret, Viewty and QWERTY keyboard phones.

Shipments in the fourth quarter are expected to hep the company reach its annual goal of 100 million units, boosted by the introduction of the Renoir 8 mega pixel camera phone, and the second version of the Prada phone.

LG overtook Sony Ericsson to claim fourth spot in the handset rankings earlier this year and now has its sights set firmly on troubled Motorola’s position.