LG Display Swung Back to Profit

Mainly led by upward spirals in the prices of LCD panels, LG Display swung back to profit in the second quarter of fiscal 2021. Strong sales of more lucrative OLED panels helped, too

The world’s largest flat screen display panel maker reversed an operating loss of 517 billion won in the year-earlier-quarter to an operating income of 701.1 billion won on consolidated revenue of 6.96 trillion won, which was up 31.3%. from a year ago.

It is the first time in 4 years since the same quarter of 2017 that the operating profit has surpassed 700 billion won.

The money spinner was whopping jumps in the ASPs, or average selling prices of LCD panels, which were driven by explosive demand for LCDs.

LG Display has shipped a total of 8.90 square meters of LCD panels for ASPs of US$703. The ASPs were a huge jump from ASPs of US$654 in the same quarter of 2020, which reflects increases in the prices of LCD panels.

According to market research firm Omdia, prices of 55-inch LCD panels for TVs jumped from US$138 a year ago to US$229 in the 2nd quarter.

Shipments of more lucrative OLED panels also boomed, helping to improve profitability.

Average selling prices of OLED panels slightly edged down from US$736 a quarter ago, but ironically, it helped to boost sales, narrowing down the price gap with LCDs. For example, sales of OLED panels for TVs surpassed 3.50 million units in the first 6 months of 2021. That figure represents more than 80% of total OLED shipments in 2020.

LG expects that total shipments of OLEDs for TVs and mobile phones would exceed its target of 8 million units in 2021.

Expecting that global OLED markets would soon hit critical mass, LG plans to expand its OLED production capacity to 10 million units per year in early 2022.