LG Display posts record Q3 operating profit, beats forecast

LG Display posts record Q3 operating profit, beats forecast

Seoul: Flat-panel maker LG Display reported a record quarterly operating profit on Thursday, beating market forecasts, as strong demand and raw material shortages boosted prices for TV and computer screens.

The world’s No. 2 maker of liquid crystal display (LCD) screens posted 904 billion won ($780.5 million) in operating profit in the third quarter to September, higher than a forecast of 893 billion won from Thomson Reuters.

The result more than tripled the year-earlier operating profit of 254 billion won and topped the previous record of 889 billion won set in the second quarter of 2008.

July-September net profit came in at 559 billion won, lower than a forecast of 798 billion won but still a sharp improvement from 295 billion won in the year-earlier quarter.

The LCD industry has managed to recover quickly from a severe slowdown in late 2008, riding largely on the popularity of flat-screen TVs, while a shortage of key glass input sped a rebound in panel prices.

A seasonal slowdown will probably weigh on the sector’s profits until the first quarter of next year, but analysts say the downturn will be milder than in previous years, thanks to low inventories and expected control of supplies by manufacturers.

Shares of LG Display have fallen 10% since the end of August, against the wider market’s 4% gain, because of investors’ concerns over weakening earnings momentum.