LG.Philips, one of the world's top makers of LCD screens, reported its net profit during the final three months of 2005 rose more than nine-fold compared with a year earlier thanks to strong holiday sales of screens used in LCD-TVs and notebook computers.
The company's net profit rose to 328 billion Korean won ($US329.5 million as of December 31, the end of the three-month period being reported), up sharply from 35 billion won a year earlier. LG.Philips' sales rose 53 per cent to 2.96 trillion won, from 1.93 trillion won in the fourth quarter of 2004.
"During the fourth quarter, LCD-TV panel demand was strong as consumers are rapidly recognising LCD technology as 'the' flat TV technology of choice," vice-chairman and chief executive officer of LG.Philips LCD, Bon Joon Koo, said.
LCD technology is battling other technologies, such as plasma display and projector technology, for dominance in television market.
The company sold more than 10 million 15-inch and larger-sized LCD-TV panel units amid strong holiday-season consumer demand in the fourth quarter, LG.Philips said.
Stronger user demand for LCD-TVs comes at a time when some LCD panel makers are increasing demand at advanced LCD factories, dubbed seventh generation (7G) facilities, which produce larger LCD screens than older, sixth generation plants.
LG.Philips said it was able to start production at its 7G factory in the first week of January, a little earlier than expected.
In the first three months of 2006, LG.Philips expects demand for panels used in LCD-TVs and notebook computers to continue to expand. In terms of LCD panel area, the company expects its first-quarter shipments to grow slightly compared to the previous quarter, by a mid-single digit percentage. However, the company said its average selling prices would probably decline a tad due to weaker pricing for panels used in desktop monitors and laptops.
LG.Philips expects to spend around 4.2 trillion won on new factories and production equipment this year, including 453 billion won for the construction of the clean room and utilities for its first eighth generation LCD factory.
For the full year 2005, LG.Philips said its net profit dropped to 517.0 billion won from 1.66 trillion won in 2004. The company's revenue rose to 10.08 trillion won last year, from 8.32 trillion won a year earlier.