South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd on Wednesday swung to a profit for the January-March quarter, its third consecutive quarterly profit,
helped by rising panel prices driven by TV and laptop demand as people stayed at home.
LG Display today reported unaudited earnings results based on consolidated K-IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) for the three-month period ending March 31, 2022.
◆ Revenues in the first quarter of 2022 decreased by 6% to KRW 6,471 billion from KRW 6,883 billion in the first quarter of 2021 and decreased by 27% from KRW 8,807 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
◆ Operating profit in the first quarter of 2022 recorded KRW 38 billion. This compares with the operating profit of KRW 523 billion in the first quarter of 2021 and with the operating profit of KRW 476 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
◆ EBITDA in the first quarter of 2022 was KRW 1,211 billion, compared with EBITDA of KRW 1,620 billion in the first quarter of 2021 and with EBITDA of KRW 1,645 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
◆ Net income in the first quarter of 2022 was KRW 54 billion, compared with the net income of KRW 266 billion in the first quarter of 2021 and with the net income of KRW 180 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
LG Display recorded KRW 6.471 trillion in revenues and KRW 38 billion in operating profit in the first quarter of 2022.
The company saw a decrease in panel shipments in the quarter due to low seasonality and a shrink in industry demand, as well as a continuous decline in LCD panel prices. In addition, the unexpected supply chain conditions caused by China’s COVID lockdown affected the company’s panel production and shipments.
Panels for TVs accounted for 26% of the revenues in the first quarter, while panels for IT devices including monitors, laptops, and tablets accounted for 48%, and those for mobile devices and the others accounted for 26%.
LG Display will further strengthen its capabilities to handle possible crisis even under growing market uncertainties to minimize any effects of external factors, while focusing on boosting its performance in its competitive OLED and high-end LCD businesses.
In its large-sized OLED business, LG Display will continue to lead the growing premium TV market based on its unmatched and differentiated values of OLED technology, expecting a rise in OLED panel shipments, as well as in profits, starting from the second quarter. What’s more, LG Display plans to apply its OLED.EX technology to all OLED TV panel series in the second quarter. The company’s new OLED.EX increases brightness by 30% by applying deuterium technology and personalized algorithms to organic light emitting devices, which are the most important elements of creating OLED’s excellent picture quality. The company also aims to expand its Gaming, Transparent, and Portable OLED businesses in the Life Display areas.
Despite the overall TV market’s 10% quarter-on-quarter decline, OLED TVs continued to lead the growing premium TV market, recording above 40% increase in OLED TV sales in the first quarter. Although LG Display saw a quarter-on-quarter decrease in OLED TV panel shipments in the first quarter due to TV Set makers’ conservative inventory policies, OLED is expected to further accelerate its growth with OLED TVs’ growing sales and presence in the premium market.
LG Display will improve its performance in the mobile sector with its cutting-edge OLED products by expanding the supply of its new products in the second half of 2021, as well as focusing more on high-end products down the road. Additionally, the company will strengthen its leadership in the automotive sector with its OLED products to further secure the premium market. Meanwhile, in the LCD sector, the company will strategically focus more on its competitive profitable high-end IT products.
In terms of its business strategy, LG Display plans to gradually scale down its supply & demand-based business, an area highly affected by market factors, and expand its business built on strategic partnerships with its customers. The company will also focus on creating new markets based on its OLED technology to further elaborate its business portfolio.
“Although the market is anticipated to fluctuate from macroeconomic uncertainties and supply chain issues, we will continue to strengthen our capabilities to handle potential crisis and closely monitor market changes to preemptively respond to them,” said Kim Sung-hyun, CFO and Senior Vice President at LG Display. “Despite the overall slowdown in demands, the growth of high-end IT product market and the premium TV market continue to pose a great opportunity for us. We will continue to increase our performance throughout the second half of the year by focusing on high-end IT products and by expanding our OLED shipments.”
The display maker that supplies Apple Inc reported an operating profit of 523 billion won ($469.76 million) for the first quarter compared with an operating loss of 362 billion won in the same period a year earlier.
Total revenue to KRW18.8 trillion – the most LG has ever recorded between January and March.
|Mobile Divison Performance
|Sales in KRW / USD
|998.7B / 901M
|1,385B / 1.24B
|998.6B / 901M
|Profit in KRW / USD
|-280B / -252M
|-248B / -224M
|-237B / -214M
The biggest grower was the Home Entertainment division. People staying at home resulted in recovering demand in North America and Europe – traditionally profitable markets where LG managed to expand its sales of OLED and NanoCell TVs. The upward trend is expected to continue and will be centered around premium products.
That topped the 443 billion won expected by analysts, Refinitiv SmartEstimate data showed.
Revenue rose 46% to 6.9 trillion won, LG Display said in a regulatory filing.
“The demand for large-size displays such as TVs and IT products remained strong in the first quarter thanks in large part to the recent stay-at-home trend, although the first quarter typically tends to be a slow season,” LG said in a statement.
LG added that panels for IT devices accounted for 40% of its revenue in the first quarter, panels for TVs accounted for 31%, and mobile and other devices for 29%.
Prices of LG Display’s mainstay, 55-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for TV sets, jumped nearly 80% from a year earlier, according to data from WitsView, part of research provider TrendForce.
While panel prices are expected to stay strong backed by robust demand, analysts said a shortage of semiconductor parts, especially display driver integrated circuits (DDI) used for LG’s plastic organic light-emitting diode (POLED) panels supplied for Apple’s iPhones, had been affected in the first quarter.
The shortage of DDIs is likely to continue in the second quarter, they said.
($1 = 1,113.3300 won)