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Display earnings

LG Display swings to Q3 profit, ending six-quarter string of losses

Oct 22, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

LG Display Co., a major South Korean display panel maker, has swung to a quarterly profit for the first time in seven quarters on growing demand amid the stay-at-home trend and shipments to Apple Inc.

The company on Oct. 22 reported 11.1 billion won ($9.8 million) in net profit for the July-September period, shifting from a loss of 442 billion won in the year-earlier period.

Graphics by Jerry Lee
Graphics by Jerry Lee

It also turned to operating profit of 164.4 billion won from a loss of 436.7 billion won. Sales rose 16% on year to 6.74 trillion won. The third quarter marks the first time LG Display posted an operating profit since the fourth quarter of 2018.

LG Display attributed the turnaround to increased supply of displays for IT products and OLED panels for mobile devices. Its OLED plant in Guangzhou, China, which began operations in July, and robust demand for large-sized LCD panels also improved its profitability, the company said.

LG Display’s bottom line was also boosted by mobile panel shipments to Apple for its latest iPhone 12.

For its previous model, iPhone 11, Apple procured most of its display panels from Samsung Display Co.

Panel prices have risen on a surge in worldwide demand for TVs and monitors from people working and learning remotely in the COVID-19 pandemic era.

Panels for IT products accounted for 43% of LG Display’s revenue in the third quarter. While TV panels accounted for 28% of its revenue, mobile display products made up 29% of its sales.

LG Display CEO Jeong Ho-young
LG Display CEO Jeong Ho-young

LG Display said it plans to double shipments of large-sized OLED panels in the second half of the year compared to the first half, as the Guangzhou plant is now in full swing.

The company aims to supply more than 7 million units of large-size OLED display panels next year.

To cope with rising demand for IT product panels, LG Display said it will convert more of its LCD TV panel production lines to IT display manufacturing lines.

LG Display said it expects the strong demand for IT panels to continue through the first half of 2021.

Write to Hyung-suk Song and Su-Bin Lee at click@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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