Thu, Jan 09, 2014 - Page 13 News List

LCD firms’ revenues expected to grow

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Local LCD makers are expected to grow their revenue by 3.8 percent this year from last year, with demand mainly driven by mobile devices, while contributions from LCD TVs looked tepid, a Taipei-based market researcher forecast.

Revenue is projected to grow to NT$1.72 trillion (US$568 billion) this year from NT$1.65 trillion last year, the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (PIDA, 光電協進會) said.

The growth rate is slower than the global LCD industry’s forecast growth of 4.6 percent annually this year to US$181.97 billion.

PIDA analyst Chen I-min (陳逸民) said yesterday that Chinese panel makers would pose a significant threat to Taiwanese firms within two years after they ramp up production at their 8.5-generation plants from 2016.

“Chinese players are nibbling on Taiwan’s market share,” Chen said.

As South Korea’s Samsung started operating a 8.5G plant last year and LG Display Inc is scheduled to begin to ramp up production at its 8.5G plant in the middle of this year, Taiwan’s AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電) is likely to resume construction of its 8.5G factory in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, Chen said.

Even though Taiwanese flat-panel makers have to produce flat panels in China to circumvent rising import tariffs, Chen said they would be gradually marginalized by their Chinese competitors.

In November last year, local panel maker Innolux Corp (群創光電) lost its long-standing top position in China's TV panel market to South Korea's LG Display Ltd, with AUO also seeing its ranking drop to No.4, outranked by China Star, according to a report released by US market researcher NPD DisplaySearch on Tuesday.

NPD DisplaySearch said Innolux could reclaim its top position in March by boosting production of its 4k2k TV panels.

Global shipments of 4k2k panels are expected to rise to 20 million units this year, from more than 2 million units last year, PIDA forecast, adding that 4k2k TVs would become mainstream in 2017.

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