Display panel sales in the third quarter of 2020 hit its highest in three years thanks to price rise of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.
Sales hit US$30.5 billion in the third quarter, a rise of 11% from a year ago and 21% higher than the previous quarter, according to Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC).
It is the highest sales figure since the fourth quarter of 2017, DSCC said.
The increase in LCD TV panel prices helped the margins of display companies.
The combined profit of major display panel companies increased 182% in the third quarter from a year ago to US$2.7 billion. It jumped 106% from the second quarter. Taiwan’s AUO and South Korea’s LG Display saw double digit margin rates. Taiwan’s HannStar had a margin rate of 37%.
In sales, Samsung Display topped the list, followed by BOE then LG Display. This was followed by, in order, AUO, Innolux, CSOT and Sharp.
Samsung Display posted sales of 7.32 trillion won, down 21% from the same time period a year ago but 9% higher than the previous quarter.
LG Display posted sales of 6.7376 trillion won, an increase of 16% from the previous year and a jump of 27% from the previous quarter.
The combined operating income of 13 display makers was US$1.33 billion. This is the highest in the past two years.
Samsung Display posted the highest operating profit, accounting for 30% of the combined operating profit.
Nine out of 13 companies posted operating profits.
Six companies that share their data with DSCC saw increased display area prices in the third quarter thanks to LCD.
Average sales price per meter-square for BOE was US$668; LG Display marked US$706. Tianma’s average sales price per meter-square was over triple that of its competitors thanks to its produce mix.
LG Display was ranked first in display area shipment with 8.3 million meter-square, followed by BOE with 8.1 million meter-square. This was followed by Innolux and CSOT.
DSCC expects display makers to show even more improved earnings in the fourth quarter.