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(3rd LD) LG Display swings to red in Q4

All News 16:03 January 31, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 9,11)

SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Yonhap) -- LG Display Co., South Korea's major display panel maker, said Friday it swung to a loss in the fourth quarter from a year earlier due to asset impairments and increased costs.

LG Display reported a fourth-quarter net loss of 1.81 trillion won (US$1.5 billion) in a regulatory filing, shifting from a profit of 152.6 billion won a year earlier.

The company posted an operating loss of 421.9 billion won for the October-December period, compared with a profit of 279.3 billion won a year ago. Sales also fell 7.6 percent to 6.42 trillion won over the cited period.

LG Display said its bottom line drastically went down after it decided to reflect a charge of 1.6 trillion won related to asset impairments.

This photo provided LG Display Co. shows the company's plant in Guangzhou, China. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Besides asset impairments, LG Display still struggled to make a profit in its business operations as increased costs in POLED productions and restructuring of LCD business also hurt its profitability.

LG Display has been working to convert its LCD production lines to OLED fabs since a supply glut, led by Chinese manufacturers, dragged down LCD panel prices and damaged the company's earnings in recent years.

For the whole of 2019, LG Display reported a net loss of 2.87 trillion won, widening from a net loss of 179.4 billion won a year earlier.

It posted an operating loss of 1.35 trillion won for the year, compared with a profit of 92.9 billion won on-year. Annual revenue fell 3.5 percent to 23.47 trillion won.

For this year, LG Display said it will focus on improving its profitability with OLED products. The company added it expects to ship 6 million OLED panels this year.

"We expect a big revenue increase from the large OLED business as our OLED fab in China will increase its output," it said. "The POLED business is also expected to start improving its earnings in the second half."

Shares in LG Display closed at 15,400 won on the Seoul bourse, up 4.41 percent from the previous session. The earnings report was released before the market closed.

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