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(2nd LD) LG Display swings to net profit in Q4 on increased OLED panel sales

All News 17:23 January 27, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS more info in last 6 paras, 2nd photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- LG Display Co., a major display panel maker in South Korea, on Wednesday said it shifted to a net profit in the fourth quarter of 2020, on the back of increased demand of its panels for IT products and sales of OLED displays amid the pandemic-induced stay-at-home trend.

LG Display reported a net profit of 621 billion won (US$561.2 million) for the October-December period, swinging from a loss of 1.81 trillion won a year earlier.

Operating income for the fourth quarter was 685.5 billion won, compared with a loss of 421.9 billion won a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing. Sales rose 16.2 percent on-year to 7.46 trillion won.

Both operating profit and sales were higher than the market consensus of 377.3 billion won and 7.25 trillion won in a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency.

This image shows the corporate logo of LG Display Co. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

For the whole of 2020, LG Display reported a net loss of 70.6 billion won, sharply narrowing from a net loss of 691.6 billion won a year ago.

Operating losses also narrowed to 29.1 billion won from 714.5 billion won, while sales rose 3.2 percent on-year to 24.23 trillion won in 2020.

LG Display, the world's largest OLED TV panel maker, attributed its improved performance to increased demand of its display products amid the rising trend of remote working and distance learning caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The affiliate of LG Group said its display panel shipment area reached 8.7 million square meters in the fourth quarter, up 5 percent from the previous quarter, while the blended average selling price of its displays reached $790 per square meter, up 12 percent from the previous three months.

LG Display added that solid sales of OLED panels for TVs, supported by full operation of its plant in Guangzhou, China, and increased production of plastic OLED panels also helped the company to enhance its profitability.

By product, panels for IT products accounted for 37 percent of its revenue in the fourth quarter. TV panels accounted for 29 percent of its revenue, while mobile displays and other screen products made up 34 percent of its sales.

This photo provided by LG Display Co. on Dec. 31, 2020, shows the company's transparent OLED display. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

In a conference call, LG Display said it aims to roll out 7-8 million units of OLED TV panels this year.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, OLED TV panel shipments increased 50 percent on-year to 1.6 million units, it added.

The company said it could expand large-size panel production at its plant in Guangzhou, China, after monitoring the market situation in the current quarter.

For the first quarter of 2021, LG Display said its panel shipment area is likely to be similiar to that of the fourth quarter, but its blended average selling price is expected to drop.

Regarding the LCD business, the company said the market will be affected by Chinese manufacturers' 10th generation LCD plant operations and that it will flexibly cope with the production plan of its LCD factory in Paju, north of Seoul.

Shares in LG Display plunged 4.98 percent to 22,900 won on the Seoul bourse, underperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.57 percent decline.

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