LCD exports thrive with weak won
TV makers Samsung and LG Display enjoy higher sales, bigger market share
Though Korea’s exports have been shaky over the past few months, Korean liquid crystal display companies are having a profitable year as the country experiences the benefits of a weaker won and steady demand from the U.S. and Europe.
This January, the LCD TV market share of Korea’s top exporter Samsung Electronics in the U.S. was 26 percent, according to global market research firm NPD Group, making Samsung the industry leader there. According to the data, this is a 5 percent leap from Samsung’s market share in January 2008. It is also twice the size of Sony’s share of 13 percent.
The company said that although they expected global LCD TV sales to grow about 10 percent this year, a modest number that took into account the global recession, the actual growth of the LCD TV market is nearing 20 percent this January and February on-year.
“Amidst one of the harshest economic situations of all time, with the U.S. financial crisis affecting the global economy, we have been able to post record sales figures, at 118 trillion won [$79.5 billion],” said Lee Yoon-woo, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics, during a shareholder meeting last week.
LG Electronics said that their sales of LCD TVs and panel displays in Europe have grown around 50 percent in 2009 on-year. The company has also sold around 450,000 units so far this year in North America, already closing in on last year’s Q1 sales of 460,000 units.
LG’s plants in Poland and Mexico are operating at around 90 percent capacity due to overwhelming demand.
Total monthly production at its main assembly line in Gumi, North Gyeongsang, has been increased to 300,000 units, from 250,000 units.
Kwon Young-soo, the president of LG Display, said last week during the company’s shareholders’ meeting that the company is operating all its LCD TV plants at near full capacity to meet demand.
By Cho Jae-eun Staff Reporter [email@example.com]