LAS VEGAS -- Jeong Ho-young, chief executive officer of LG Display -- the world’s largest organic light-emitting diode panel maker -- vowed Monday to put the money-losing company back on track by expanding supplies of OLED panels to growing markets such as transportation and interior.
During a press conference held ahead of the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jeong revealed his target figures for improving the company’s financial status and plans to expand sales of OLED panels for new types of customers, like aircraft and automobile companies.
“OLED sales from the entire transportation sector including aircraft and automobiles should be large as 30 percent of the total sales,” Jeong said. “It is a rapidly growing with great potential as many automakers and aircraft companies are showing interests in applying OLEDs to their vehicles.”
LG Display, which is forecast to record an operating loss of about 1 trillion won for 2019, has recently seen its stock price rise on expectations of improved performance this year. The decline in LCD panel prices has ceased, and the firm’s business focus has shifted toward OLED, raising hopes of better earnings in the coming months.
The CEO noted that LG Display supplied plastic-OLED panels -- referring to the firm’s flexible OLED panel -- to a global carmaker in January and that a new car featuring OLED displays would be rolled out in the second quarter of this year.
LG Display CEO Jeong Ho-young speaks during a press conference in Las Vegas on Monday. (LG Display)
The company is also in talks with aircraft builders to use OLEDs for in-flight entertainment. It showcased a concept first-class seat made of various shapes of OLED screens, including adjustable curved ones, at its booth at CES 2020.
Since LG Display is a latecomer, industry watchers have said the company lacks technological competitiveness in the small flexible OLED market. Jeong denies this.
“Our P-OLED products are being supplied to customers at high levels of technological readiness,” Jeong said. “Because the P-OLED business is the weakest unit of the company, it is urgent that we will make an early turnaround for the business by creating new demands in new sectors like transportation, commercial, IT, furniture and interior design.”
LG Display is also preparing to launch foldable OLED panels for use in laptops with a global laptop maker.
Jeong also pledged to double supplies of large OLED panels for TV makers from 3.3 million units last year to around 6 million units this year.
To achieve that goal, the company will kick-start full operations of its new Gen-8.5 fab in Guangzhou by March at the latest, the CEO said.
By the end of this year, the combined sales of large and small OLED panels would account for 40 percent of the company’s total, and exceed 50 percent next year, he said.
By Song Su-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Korea Herald Correspondent