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Japan's Zeon to expand display film output to meet Oled demand

[TOKYO] Zeon, a Japanese resin, rubber and latex supplier, is adding a new production line to boost output of films used for flat-panel Oled displays, President Kuniaki Tanaka said.

Demand for large-screen televisions using organic light-emitting diodes is climbing as prices decline, he said in an interview. The Tokyo-based company is planning to spend several tens of billions of yen to add 10 per cent to capacity within the next few years.

A key product by the company, ZeonorFilm, is used for smartphone and tablet displays because of its durability, transparency and lighter weight, making it an attractive alternative to glass. Zeon's stock has more than doubled in the past five years on booming demand for smartphones. Revenue is on track to rise 11 per cent in the current fiscal year through March, according to the average of analysts' forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.

"When people are able to buy 50-inch OLED televisions for 100,000-plus yen (S$1,197.74), then demand will expand rapidly," Mr Tanaka said. "The number of people switching to OLED from LCD will climb."

Zeon has been steadily increasing film output, and recently added a sixth production line at a factory in Toyama, boosting annual production capacity to 119 million metres. Operating income for Zeon's specialty materials segment is forecast to rise 45 per cent to 14.3 billion yen in the current fiscal year.