LG Display Reports Q4 Loss Amid Ongoing Shift To OLED

Mike Wheatley

LG Display posted a lower than expected fourth quarter loss of just 422 billion won (£273.8 million) on revenue of 6.4 trillion won (£4.08 billion), up 10% from the previous quarter thanks to an increased in OLED TV and smartphone display sales.


The company, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of bigger-sized OLED panels used in TVs, also reported a full year operating loss of 1.36 trillion won, due to what it says is the ongoing restructuring of its business. LG Display is currently in the midst of a transition from older LCD display technology to OLED.

Officials said sales fell by 8% overall in 2019 in comparison to the year before.

Still, LG Display provided a more optimistic forecast for 2020, saying it’s expecting to see higher demand for both its OLED TVs and its P-OLED panels, which are used in mobile devices. Indeed, the company said OLED TV panel is expecting to “rise steeply” this year as its new Guangzhou OLED Fab ramps up towards mass production, expected in March.

LG Display has every reason to expect OLED TV sales to rise this year as almost every major TV brand has begun purchasing its panels, with the main holdouts being Samsung, which is attempting to make its own Quantum Dot OLED technology, and TCL.

In the meantime, LG Display said it has already halted some of its main domestic LCD production lines, and is planning to halt all domestic LCD production by the end of the year. It will however, continue to maintain its LCD plant in China.

South Korean media reported at the weekend LG Display is currently negotiating with an unnamed Chinese manufacturer to sell off the LCD manufacturing used at its P8 LCD facility in Paju, South Korea.

Also last week, South Korean media reported that LG Display’s rival Samsung Display has already sold off the LCD manufacturing equipment at its Gen-8 LCD plant in its Asan Campus to a Shenzhen based firm called Efonlong.

Efonlong has reportedly snapped up the bulk of Samsung Displays’ LCD equipment with the intention of shipping it to China. Samsung Display will then use the free space to produce bigger quantum dot displays.

Because both LG Display and Samsung Display are looking to move away from LCD as fast as possible, industry experts believe their exit could lead to a rise in LCD panel prices in the first half of the year. Analysts reportedly told Yonhap that the industry could suffer a shortage of LCD panels in the first half of the year, causing prices to rise. However, any increase in price would likely be temporary as Chinese firms are expected to make up for LG and Samsung’s lost output by the middle of the year.