Helped by rising OLED TV sales, LG Display finally turns a profit

Mike Wheatley

LG Display has finally turned around its financial fortunes thanks to a heap of OLED TV sales along with an increase in flexible OLED smartphone panel shipments.


The company, which makes OLED TV displays for LG Electronics and other TV makers, reported a net profit of $9.8 million in its third quarter earnings report. That’s a huge recovery considering the firm has reported a massive deficit in successive financial quarters dating back to 2018. In the second quarter of this year for example, it posted a $447 million net loss.

LG Display’s recovery is all the more impressive considering the challenges it has faced in this coronavirus-plagued year. The company wasn’t helped by the pandemic lockdowns, which initially took a bite out of Smart TV sales in every region of the world. The company also faced problems in scaling up production at its new OLED factory in Guangzhou, China, and had to delay the start of mass production there on more than one occasion.

But things have since turned around, and in July the Guangzhou fab was reported to be up and running at full capacity, helping LG Display to churn out more of its new 48-inch OLED TV panels.

The new, smaller sized OLED TVs have proven to be a real hit, with pre-order events selling out at various locations in South Korea and other countries within a matter of minutes, it was reported in August. Indeed, OLED TVs of all sizes have been incredibly popular this year, and perversely, that may also be due to the coronavirus pandemic. While TV sales initially took a hit, people have come to realize that the longer they spend indoors, the more they need a quality TV screen to keep them occupied – hence, OLED TV sales especially seem to have gone through the roof. Omdia recently reporting that the cumulative number of global OLED TV shipments reached 10.32 million units at the end of September, and it’s expecting more to come, forecasting sales of around 1.2 million units in the fourth quarter.

LG Display has helped to increase OLED sales by making the technology available to more TV brands this year, and it has done especially well in China, where companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei and Konka all started selling their first OLED TV models this year. Other companies, including Panasonic, Philips and Sony, also sell premium OLED TVs.