Flat-screen demand lifts LG Display

LG Display, the world’s second-largest flat panel display maker, swung to a net profit in the fourth quarter thanks to increasing demand for flat-screen televisions and personal computers.

The South Korean company said on Wednesday that it expected steady sales and slightly higher panel prices in the current quarter thanks to strong demand from China and the global economic recovery.

The company reported a net profit of Won478bn ($421m) for the three months ended December from a Won684bn loss a year ago. However, LG Display’s net profits decreased from Won559bn in the third quarter.

Analysts expect demand to stay strong this year, and the industry’s positive outlook has prompted LG Display to increase its capital expenditure for 2010 to Won4,000bn from Won3,500bn last year.

The flat-panel industry suffered a severe downturn in late 2008 because of lower demand amid the global economic crisis.However, thanks to limited global supply and rising Chinese demand for TV sets, it staged a strong turnround last year.

The Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the football World Cup in South Africa are expected to boost flat-panel TV sales for companies such as LG Display.

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