South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd , the world’s biggest maker of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, said third-quarter profit slid 30 percent, missing estimates, citing broadly weaker demand for consumer electronics devices.
The firm reported on Thursday July-September operating profit was 333 billion won ($293 million), down from 474 billion won a year earlier and below a 358 billion won Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate derived from a poll of 26 analysts.
Slackening growth in big markets like China, along with weaker emerging market currencies, has hurt consumer electronics makers’ sales, leading to reduced orders and squeezed profit margins for panel suppliers. LG Display has already warned it’s bracing for a tough 2016, and its shares have skidded 30 percent so far this year.
Still, LG Display said on Thursday it expects overall shipments to rise by a low single-digit percentage rate in surface area terms during October-December from the third quarter. “Although the supply of products and sizes may vary, the downturn trend in panel prices is expected to slow,” Chief Financial Officer Don Kim said.
LG Display’s third-quarter average selling price for panels fell 5.5 percent from a year earlier, undercutting sales volume growth. The proportion of displays it sold that were made for televisions, which tend to be more profitable as they are larger, also eased to 39 percent from 42 percent a year earlier.
Analysts had said ahead of the results the launch of new iPhones by key client Apple Inc likely helped cushion what could have been an even tougher quarter for LG Display.
The weaker South Korean won also likely provided some support, analysts said, as components transactions are typically settled in U.S. dollars. The local currency’s average exchange rate against the dollar fell 12 percent from a year earlier in the July-September quarter.