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LG Display to increase OLED TV panel production by 40%

South Korean maker aims to turn first profit from business

LG OLED TV
LG Display will increase production of OLED panels for TVs by 40% in 2019.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korean manufacturer LG Display will increase production of Organic Light Emitting Diode panels in 2019, with the aim of making its OLED panel business profitable for the first time.

The increase will raise production of panels for televisions to 4 million units, 40% more than the planned output of 2.8 million for 2018.

The company plans to sell the panels to Japanese and Chinese TV manufacturers, as well as group company LG Electronics, in an effort to spur the growing OLED TV market.

According to British research company Euromonitor, global sales of OLED TVs in 2018 will reach 2.54 million units, up 66% from the previous year.

LG Display's capital investment in the technology, which stood at 5 trillion won last year, is also set to increase. Four-fifths of its 2018 capital investment budget of 9 trillion won is understood to have been earmarked for OLED development. The remaining 20% includes investment in liquid crystal display panels.

LG controls almost 100% of the global market for OLED panels for commercial TVs, supplying manufacturers including Sony and Panasonic. Making a profit, however, has been a challenge due to the high investment costs.

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