Change coming in struggling plasma market: LG
LG Electronics Incorporated, the world’s third-largest maker of plasma panels, expects its display business to turn profitable in the first half of this year after the division posted a record loss in 2007.
Cost reductions and increased shipments will improve profitability at the division, which makes liquid-crystal display and plasma televisions, Chief Executive Officer Nam Yong said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting yesterday.
Losses at the display business offset higher profit from LG’s mobile phones last year after mounting competition drove down prices of plasma panels.
A turnaround at the division will be the “fundamental driver” for LG’s earnings in 2008, according to Citigroup Incorporated this week.
LG Electronics on Jan. 24 said its shipments of plasma televisions will probably rise 50 percent to 3 million this year, while LCD models will double to 14 million.
The display business narrowed losses to 95.5 billion won ($97 million) in the fourth quarter, from 146.7 billion won a year earlier. Sales climbed 19 percent to 1.4 trillion won.
“We don’t plan to make any additional investments in the plasma business,” Nam told reporters after the meeting. LG doesn’t plan to acquire Hynix Semiconductor Incorporated, Nam said, reiterating the company’s position from October.