LG Display records operating profit surplus for 11 quarters

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LG Display records operating profit surplus for 11 quarters

LG Display, which supplies panels for Apple devices, reported a surplus in operating profit for 11 consecutive quarters, with robust sales of the iPhone 6 contributing to its strong performance in the final three months of 2014.

The world’s largest LCD panel maker has also recorded a profit exceeding 1 trillion won ($924 million) for two years.

In its quarterly earnings announcement on Wednesday, the company said its revenue for last year’s fourth quarter increased 27 percent year-on-year to 8.34 trillion won while its operating profit surged 144 percent to 625.8 billion won from a year earlier.

This is the company’s highest operating profit since it reached 726 billion won in the second quarter of 2010.Quarter-on-quarter, LG Display’s revenue jumped 27 percent and operating profit soared 32 percent.

By product, LCD panels for TVs took up 36 percent of all revenue while mobile panels accounted for 23 percent. Tablet PC panels made up 19 percent, monitor panels recorded 14 percent and laptop panels accounted for 8 percent.

Because prices for TV displays stayed high and as Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus showed strong sales, LG Display’s performance improved in the last quarter.

As the operating profit for 2014 also increased 17 percent to 1.35 trillion won from 2013, the company has joined the so-called 1 trillion won club.

Annual revenue fell slightly from a year earlier to 26.45 trillion won.

LG Display said that it has decided to provide a 500 won dividend per share for the first time in four years. The move will be confirmed at its general shareholders’ meeting in March.

“The fall in shipments in the offseason during the first quarter in 2015 is expected to be minimized to a single-digit percentage thanks to robust market demand and LG Display’s efficient production line and operating strategy,” said Kim Sang-don, chief financial officer of LG Display.

“Due to seasonal factors, profit is expected to fall from the fourth quarter, but we will continue to put more effort into improving profitability through saving on production costs and differentiating technology.”

LG Electronics also announced its performance for last year on Wednesday evening, prior to releasing detailed results.

Its revenue for 2014 increased 4 percent year-on-year while its annual operating profit jumped 46 percent from 2013.

LG Electronics also held a board of directors meeting and decided to provide 400 won per share for common stocks and 450 won per share for preferred stocks. This will also be confirmed at the general shareholders’ meeting in March.

The total dividend amount is 72.9 billion won. Last year, LG Electronics offered a 200 won dividend per share for common stocks and 250 won dividend per share for preferred stocks.

The company cited strong TV and smartphone sales as the main factors for its positive annual performance. Earlier in 2013, LG Electronics suffered a loss due to its sluggish smartphone business, but it turned around in 2014 with robust sales of its flagship smartphone G3.

“Smartphone sales continued to rise until the third quarter last year. We will announce the detailed results, including the performance of the fourth quarter, tomorrow,” said Kim So-young, spokesman for LG Electronics, yesterday.


BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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