By Joyce Lee and Heekyong Yang
SEOUL, Jan 27 (Reuters) – South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd reported its biggest quarterly profit in more than three years on Wednesday, returning to positive numbers for the second consecutive quarter aided by rising shipments of new iPhones from Apple Inc.
Apple’s supplier made an operating profit of 685 billion won ($ 622 million) in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to losses of 422 billion won in the same period last year.
The result was its highest quarterly profit since the second quarter of 2017, far exceeding market expectations of a profit of 286 billion won, according to Refinitiv’s SmartEstimate forecasts made from 12 analyst estimates.
“As the global telecommuting situation continued into the fourth quarter, demand for televisions and computer products remained strong,” the company said in a statement, adding that shipments of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays and prices increased for both televisions and smartphones.
The good results were helped by large-scale production at the Guangzhou OLED plant, he added.
Analysts said the profit growth was driven by increased shipments of OLED displays for Apple Inc’s new iPhone 12 and rising prices for liquid crystal displays (LCDs). Prices for liquid crystal displays increased due to the increasing demand for televisions by consumers around the world who have stayed at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple’s iPhone shipments in the fourth quarter were likely up 21% from a year earlier due to the good performance of the iPhone 12, according to data from Counterpoint.
Revenue increased 16% to 7.5 trillion won, LG Display reported.
(Information from Joyce Lee and Heekyong Yang; edited by Chris Reese and Richard Pullin; translated by Tomás Cobos)