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Business trends

Asian panel makers suffer sudden downturn in earnings

Heavyweights Samsung, LG and AUO misread smartphone demand

An LG Display LCD panel plant on the outskirts of Seoul. (Courtesy of LG Display)

SEOUL/TAIPEI/TOKYO -- South Korean and Taiwanese panel makers endured reversals in the January-March quarter as related earnings tumbled due to sliding market conditions and miscalculations about demand linked to Apple iPhones.

Samsung Electronics logged a 68% plunge in operating profit on the year for its display segment, falling to 410 billion won ($379 million) for the lowest total in seven quarters. The South Korean manufacturer controls about 90% of the global market for small and midsize organic light-emitting diode panels. Overall operating profit still reached a record 15.64 trillion won thanks to a brisk semiconductor business, the company said Thursday.

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