Electronics Production | May 01, 2007
LG.Philips increase large sized LCD panels
LG.Philips LCD Co. Ltd. in the first quarter managed to stave off the worst effects of the seasonal sales slowdown, allowing it to surpass AU Optronics Corp. to become the world's leading supplier of large-sized LCD panels in terms of unit shipments, according to a preliminary estimate from iSuppli Corp.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. still led the market in terms of revenue in the first quarter. In the first quarter, South Korea-based LG.Philips shipped 16.6 million large-sized LCD panels, up 1 percent from 16.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. LG.Philips outperformed the overall large-sized LCD panel market, which contracted by 4.5 percent to 77.5 million units, down from 81.2 million units in the fourth quarter. This caused LG.Philips' share of global shipments to rise to 21.4 percent in the first quarter, up from 20.2 percent in the fourth quarter. The attached table presents iSuppli's preliminary ranking of the Top-5 large-sized LCD panel suppliers in the first quarter of 2007. iSuppli defines large-sized LCD panels as those with dimensions of 10 inches or more diagonally. Such panels are mainly used in LCD-TVs, desktop PC monitors and notebook computers. Due to its above-average growth in panel shipments in the first quarter, LG.Philips rose to first place in the global rankings for the first time since the second quarter of 2005. This caused AU Optronics to fall to second place, down from the No. 1 position it achieved in the fourth quarter of 2006 following its merger with Quanta. AU Optronics' shipments declined at a similar rate as the industry average, decreasing by 4.1 percent to 15.9 million units, down from 16.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. The company gained fractional market share, with its slice of the market rising to 20.6 percent, up from 20.5 percent in the fourth quarter. Taiwan-based AU Optronics reported it had 49 inventory turnover days at the end of the first quarter, up from 44 days at the end of the fourth quarter of 2006. The main cause of the stockpile surge was the company is shipping an increasing percentage of its products by sea, rather than air, which is slowing down deliveries, according to the company. Meanwhile, Samsung of South Korea underperformed the market with its shipments declining by 4.6 percent to 14.8 million units, down from 15.6 million in the fourth quarter. Although Samsung maintained its third-place position in the market, its share of global unit shipments declined to 19.1 percent in the first quarter, down from 19.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006. Although the first quarter was weak compared to the peak selling season in the fourth quarter, sales growth was strong on a year-over-year basis. Worldwide large-sized panel shipments in the first quarter of 2007 were up by 25 percent compared to 61.8 million in the first quarter of 2006. Amid slow sales and oversupply conditions in the first quarter, panel suppliers cut their utilization rates in January and February. However, by March, most of the fifth-generation fabs were running at full capacity. LG.Philips reported a 90 percent utilization rate in the first quarter, while AU Optronics reported 80 percent. iSuppli Table: Preliminary Quarterly Ranking of the Top-5 Suppliers of Large-Sized LCD Panels (Ranking by Unit Shipments in Thousands)
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