Korean Display Makers Suffer Business Loss due to Low Demands and Expects Improvement in 2Q19

Samsung and LG have both released their financial results for the first quarter of 2019 with profit loss in their display business resulting from the sluggish market.

Samsung registered a revenue of KRW 6.12 trillion (US$ 5.24 billion) for its Display Panel Business in 1Q19 with an operating loss of KRW 0.56 trillion (US$ 479 million). The company said that the operating loss came from weaker profitability in both mobile and large displays. Mobile displays suffered slower demand and intensifying competition with LTPS LCDs. Large displays also took a hit from a continued decline in LCD panel prices amid weak seasonality.

LG Display also suffered from operating loss in 1Q19. Despite that revenues of the quarter increased by 4% YoY to KRW 5.879 trillion (US$ 5.03 billion), the operating loss was KRW 132 billion (US$ 112.99 million), in comparison with the operating loss of KRW 98 billion (US$ 83.89 million) in 1Q18 and the operating profit of KRW 279 billion (US$ 238.82 million) in 4Q18. Shipment decrease of higher margin small- and mid-sized panels due to low seasonality and impacts from component supply were reasons for the operating loss, according to LG Display.

(Image: LG)

The two Korean giants expect to see improvement with their OLED products for large-sized displays and other niche applications such as automotive panels. Samsung will focus on improving earnings by boosting sales of rigid OLEDs and offering differentiated products featuring new technology such as Infinity Display and fingerprint-on-display. On the other hand, LG Display continues to explore the opportunities with its OLED panels for various applications.

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