LG Display profit jumps as World Cup aids TV sales

LG Display’s second-quarter net profit rose 51 percent on record sales and higher prices for its liquid crystal displays amid strong demand for flat-screen televisions spurred in part by football’s World Cup.

LG Display, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of LCDs, earned 555 billion won ($461 million) in the three months ended June 30, it said Thursday in a regulatory filing, its fifth straight quarter in the black. The company posted a net profit of 367 billion won a year earlier.

Sales rose 35.2 percent to a quarterly high of 6.45 trillion won from 4.77 trillion won a year earlier. The performance was driven by strong global demand for TVs due to events including soccer’s World Cup — held June 11 to July 11 in South Africa — according to Claire Ohm, an LG Display spokeswoman. The company’s production lines operated close to full capacity amid the strong demand, she said.

LG Display’s average selling price per square meter of display area shipped, an industry benchmark, was $863 in the second quarter. That was 16.8 percent higher than in the same period last year and 3 percent above the first quarter this year, according to presentation materials for investors.

Seoul-based LG Display Co. also said it shipped 6.45 million square meters of display area in the second quarter, 28.7 percent higher than a year earlier and up 5 percent from the previous quarter.

LG Display also manufactures LCDs used in computer monitors, laptops and mobile phones. It competes with South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest manufacturer of LCDs.

The company also benefited from an expansion in so-called premium products such as LED and 3D panels, according to Ohm, who said demand was especially strong in advanced markets.

LG Display expects total display area shipments to rise in the current third quarter by a low-to-mid teens percentage from the second. It also expects the average selling price, however, to decline gradually before stabilizing or rebounding from about September.

Shares in LG Display, which released earnings results after the stock market closed, fell 3 percent to close at 35,400 won. The shares gained 87 percent in 2009.

Associated Press