LG Display is planning to invest around 20 trillion won, or $18.8 billion, in its OLED business by 2020, the firm said as part of its Q4 2017 financials. The company noted that the investment comes a bit early, adding that the plan might require some financing aid to fulfill its goals. The South Korean display panel maker plans to allocate a portion of that investment to the construction of another OLED manufacturing plant in Guangzhou, China and another facility in its home country. LG Display's Guangzhou plant is expected to start operating in the second half of 2019.
Last year, the company shipped about 1.7 million OLED TV panels, with the panel maker reporting that its sales reached 27.79 trillion won, or approximately $26.1 billion in 2017, while its operating profit totaled 2.46 trillion won ($2.2 billion) during the same period. This year, LG Display aims to ship around 2.8 million such panels, with the company planning to invest nearly $8.4 billion in its OLED business this year. It's worth pointing out that this is the first time LG Display's annual operating profit surpassed two trillion won, with the company noting that it hit 44.5 billion won due to its efforts to spend on research and development and promotional initiatives for its OLED panels. This is in response to recent moves by major rivals such as Sharp to step up their efforts in the game on a global scale, with the Japanese electronics giant reportedly seeking to up the ante in the OLED panel market by forming a partnership with Japan Display Incorporated.
In the mobile OLED panel department, LG Display presently works to increase the yield of its E5 plant, with the company planning to invest more in its mobile OLED plants including its E6 facility based in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, which is scheduled to begin producing plastic OLED panels in the third quarter of 2018. Also, the company was reportedly planning to invest around $3.7 billion in the same factory amid a growing demand for OLED display panels for smartphones. The mobile OLED plant is expected to be completed by the third quarter of the year and should immediately start manufacturing its first modules.