LG display swings to black in Q1 on strong TV panel shipments

LG Display, a major display panel maker in Korea, said Wednesday it shifted to the black in the first three months of the year, on the back of increased demand for its panels used in IT products and TVs amid the pandemic-induced stay-at-home trend.

LG Display reported a net profit of 265.8 billion won ($238.8 million) for the January-March period, compared with a loss of 198.9 billion won a year earlier.

Operating profit for the first quarter was 523 billion won, swinging from an operating loss of 361.9 billion won a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing. Sales rose 45.7 percent to 6.88 trillion won over the cited period.

Both operating income and sales were higher than the market consensus of 493.3 billion won and 6.75 trillion won, respectively, in a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2020, its sales and operating profit dropped 8 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

Although seasonality usually affects the first quarter performance, the stay-at-home economy drove demand for large size panels,” the company said. “LCD panel prices also rose more than expected.”

The affiliate of LG said its display panel shipment area reached 8.5 million square meters in the first quarter, up from 7 million square meters a year ago, while the blended average selling price of its displays reached $736 per square meter, up from $567 from a year earlier.

LG Display added that the first-quarter shipments of OLED panels for TVs were nearly the same as the fourth quarter, usually the peak season of the business.

The company aims to sell 8 million units of OLED TV panels this year.

By product, panels for IT products accounted for 40 percent of its revenue in the first quarter. TV panels accounted for 31 percent of its revenue, while mobile displays and other screen products made up 29 percent of its sale.

Shares in LG Display dropped 3.14 percent to 26,200 won on the Seoul bourse, underperforming the broader KOSPI’s 1.06 percent decline. The earnings were announced after the market close. (Yonhap)