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South Korean LG Posts Stronger Profit on iPhone Demand, Surging Panel Prices


SEOUL– South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd reported its highest quarterly profit in over three years on Wednesday, returning to the black for a second quarter in a row with help from increased shipments of Apple Inc’s new iPhones.

The Apple supplier posted an operating profit of 685 billion won ($622 million) in the 2020 fourth quarter, compared with a loss of 422 billion won in the same period a year earlier.

The result was its highest quarterly profit since the second quarter of 2017, and came in soundly ahead of market expectations for a 286 billion won profit, according to a Refinitiv SmartEstimate derived from 12 analyst estimates.

“As the global work-from-home situation continued in the fourth quarter, demand for TV and IT products remained strong,” the company said in a statement, adding that organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel shipments and prices rose for both TVs and smartphones.

The strong earnings were helped by full-scale production at the compay’s Guangzhou OLED plant, it added.

Analysts said the profit rise was driven by increased shipments for OLED panels for Apple Inc’s new iPhone 12 and higher prices for liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels. LCD prices rose on the back of growing demand for TVs from global consumers stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.