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LG Display swings to Q3 profit on Apple demand, panel price boost

[SEOUL] South Korea's LG Display Co on Thursday reported a profit for July-September, ending a six-quarter run of loss, helped by shipments for Apple's new iPhones and stay-at-home trends lifting panel demand for TVs and laptops.

The display maker posted operating profit of 164 billion won (S$195.9 million) for the third quarter, versus a loss of 437 billion won in the same period a year earlier.

The result compared with the 64 billion won Refinitiv SmartEstimate derived from 17 analyst estimates.

Revenue rose 16 per cent to 6.7 trillion won, LG Display said in a regulatory filing.

Prices for LG Display's main product, 55-inch liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for television sets, climbed 20 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, showed data from WitsView, part of research provider TrendForce.

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Analysts said panel prices have gone up as there has been a surge in worldwide demand for televisions and monitors from people working and learning remotely due to the novel coronavirus.

"Owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, sales of TV sets in North America have remained sky-high, meaning the upswing of TV panel prices that began in the third quarter is now persisting into the fourth quarter," said WitsView analyst Eric Chiou.

"LG Display was able to post a profit thanks to strong panel prices and its plant has been operating at higher capacity to ship mobile panels for Apple's new iPhone models," said analyst Park Sung-soon at Cape Investment & Securities.

Mr Park said current demand for screens from Apple and other smartphone makers will likely fall away after the holiday shopping seasons, weighing on LG Display's future profit.

REUTERS

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