SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — LG Display reported a $299 million profit for the fourth quarter Thursday thanks to mobile product launches by key customers including Apple Inc. but warned that earnings will decrease in the current quarter as demand for iPhones wanes.
The South Korean panel maker said its October-December net profit totaled 319.7 billion won ($299 million) compared with a loss of 6.3 billion won a year earlier when the European Union fined the company 215 million euros for price fixing. Sales rose 32 percent to 8.74 trillion won.
LG forecast a profit drop for the current quarter because it expects to ship fewer panels to TV makers and mobile device makers. In particular, shipments of panels for mobile phones and tablet computers will likely decline to 25 percent of total sales from 31 percent in the fourth quarter.
LG's financial performance has become closely linked with Apple, which is the world's second-largest smartphone supplier after Samsung Electronics Co. LG Display also makes TV panels but sluggish demand for TVs has made smartphones and tablets more crucial for its growth.
Apple accounted for two thirds of LG Display's total profit during the second and third quarters of 2012, Samsung Securities analyst MS Hwang said in a report.
Apple's earnings report Wednesday showed that its sales of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers were each 1 million units short of market expectations. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company also gave sales guidance that fell short of expectations.