UPDATE 3-LG Elec Q1 result beats f'casts, sees better Q2
* Operating profit falls 25 percent but beats forecasts
* Mobile phone margin improves from Q4
* Expects over 10 pct rise in Q2 sales vs Q1
* Shares up 1 percent vs flat KOSPI (Adds CFO quotes)
By Rhee So-eui and Marie-France Han
SEOUL, April 21 (Reuters) - LG Electronics Inc posted a smaller-than-expected 25 percent fall in first-quarter operating profit on Tuesday and said it expected improving sales of mobile phones and air conditioners to drive a recovery in the quarters ahead.
LG (066570.KS: Cotización), the world's No. 3 mobile phone maker, said its handset margins held up well in the three months ended March, while sales of flatscreen LCD TVs jumped by more than a third from a year ago.
"The results are much better than expected, and its strong line-up in cellphones, home appliances and TVs appears to have helped it gain market share against rivals and outperform in a tough global economic environment," said Chung Sung-Ho, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities.
"A weaker won KRW= has also helped it boost sales and LG is likely to continue to perform well this year." Continuación...