SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — LG Display Co., a flat panel maker, said Tuesday its net profit slipped 94.7 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, largely due to weak panel prices and a strong local currency.
The company said in a regulatory filing that its net profit came to 43.6 billion won (US$40.7 million) in the October-December period, compared with 824.7 billion won a year earlier.
Operating profit shrank 95.1 percent to 44.5 billion won from 904.3 billion won a year earlier, and sales declined 10.2 percent on-year to 7.13 trillion won, it said.
Panels for TVs accounted for 40 percent of revenue in the fourth quarter, followed by panels for mobile devices and tablets, with 28 percent and 18 percent, respectively, the company added.
LG Display said it logged an operating income of 2.46 trillion won and sales of 27.8 trillion won last year.
The supplier of screens for Apple Inc.’s iPhones and LG Electronics Inc.’s TV sets said it recorded its 23rd straight quarterly operating profit, while surpassing the 1 trillion won mark in annual operating profit for the fifth consecutive year.
“The downward trend in panel prices is anticipated to continue, but prices are expected to stabilize at the end of the first quarter,” LG Display Chief Financial Officer Kim Sang-don said in a press release.
“In 2018, we will speed up our shift to an OLED-focused business structure in order to strategically prepare for the future by investing around 9 trillion won,” he added, referring to organic light-emitting diode panel. OLED technology has been garnering more attention in the industry as an alternative to liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.
In December, the South Korean government approved LG Display’s 5 trillion-won project to build its first large OLED plant in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
Shares of LG Display closed up 5.85 percent at 32,550 won on the Seoul bourse Tuesday, outperforming the broader KOSPI’s 1.38 percent gain. The fourth-quarter report was released before the market opened.