LG Display reports record operating profit in Q4

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LG Display reports record operating profit in Q4

LG Display, a manufacturer of flat panels, reported Tuesday a record quarterly operating profit of 904.3 billion won ($774.1 million) in the fourth quarter of 2016, largely thanks to rising panel prices, favorable exchange rates and a diversified product line.

The record operating profit in the October-December period was an expansion of nearly 14 times, or 1,391.8 percent, from a year earlier. Sales rose 5.9 percent to 7.94 trillion won, resulting in a net profit of 824.7 billion won.

The company’s total operating profit for the year was 1.31 trillion won, surpassing the 1 trillion won level for a fourth straight year, and 2016 sales reached 26.5 trillion won.

“Sales went up on the popularity of large-size displays and small to midsize products,” LG Display said in a press release.

“The prices of display products in general have risen while the currency happened to be favorable to the company [in the fourth quarter].

“Our efforts to diversify our product line through large-size UHD and in-Touch products also helped our operating profit grow.”

According to the company, 38 percent of sales in the fourth quarter came from displays for televisions; 31 percent from displays for mobile devices; 17 percent for laptops and tablets; and 14 percent for monitors.

LG Display said it would focus on its OLED business this year as demand for the technology continues to grow in the global market.

The company plans to put 70 percent of its 5 trillion won investment for the year into manufacturing the high-definition displays and start mass-producing a new P-OLED line starting in the third quarter of this year.

Lee Sang-un, an analyst at Yuanta Securities, projected the company’s sales will continue to grow this year as display manufacturers focus on producing more high-quality products.

“We expect the sales of LG Display to grow 9 percent year on year to 28.8 trillion won and its operating profit to jump 138 percent year on year to 3.12 trillion won as their manufacturing rate will remain high and their deficit coming from OLED TV business seems to be reduced,” he said.

Shares of LG Display closed at 31,750 won on Tuesday, down 2.31 percent from the previous trading day.

LG Display has been the world’s top maker of LCD TV panels since the fourth quarter of 2009.

The company supplies screens for Apple iPhones and LG Electronics TV sets.

BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]
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