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(LEAD) LG Display to invest over 1 tln won in flexible OLED

All Headlines 13:58 July 23, 2015

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 3, 7 and 9)
By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) -- LG Display Co., South Korea's flat panel maker, said Thursday it will spend 1.05 trillion won (US$907.2 million) over the next two years to build a new factory for flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED), as part of an effort to ramp up its future display production.

The decision was made at a board meeting on Wednesday, with the construction of the new facility, in the southern provincial city of Gumi, to be completed by the second quarter of 2017, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The new production line will have a monthly capacity of 75 million sheets, four times higher than that of its existing flexible OLED facility.

The investment accounts for 8.9 percent of the firm's equity capital, it added.

LG Display has picked the flexible OLED as its next-generation display, which includes plastic OLEDs, since it has emerged as a lucrative profit source for its wide use in smaller smart devices, such as smartwatches and vehicle dashboards.

LG Display chief Han Sang-beom pledged earlier that the company will bolster the small and medium-sized OLED panels business as a future growth driver, in a bid to brace against a fall in demand for TV panels.

According to market tracker DisplaySearch, the global flexible OLED market is projected to grow to a size of $4.8 billion by 2021 from this year's estimated $3.5 billion.

The flat panel maker runs two respective production lines in Gumi and Paju, north of Seoul. The Paju facility makes large-size OLED panels for TVs and those used in smartphones, while most of the smaller OLEDs for wearables and vehicle parts are produced in Gumi.

Since 2012, LG Display has spent more than 2 trillion won on the flexible display business, it said.

The company is scheduled to release its second-quarter earnings later in the day, with its operating profit forecast to have nearly tripled from a year earlier, according to analysts.

elly@yna.co.kr
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