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Korean plasma TV industry set to bounce back in '08

Posted: 12 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:plasma TV? LCD TV? flat-panel TV?

South Korea's plasma TV industry is expected to fare well in 2008, according to In 2007, the country's plasma display panel (PDP) manufacturers had gone into the red, but that is expected to change this year due to large-scale international sports events and the relatively weak performance of LCD TVs, the report said. Industry sources predict flat TV manufacturers will make up for last year's losses.

In the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, China's demand for flat-panel TVs is rapidly increasing. At the same time, the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship is expected to boost flat-panel TV sales in European countries. Meanwhile, the U.S. market is increasing flat TV orders in preparation for debut of digital broadcasting next year despite the subprime mortgage crisis.

Restructuring toward PDP
LCD, PDP's rival product, could not meet rallying demand last year, which is expected to result in profits for PDP this year. Running out of LCD panel supply, Korea's two flat TV giants, Samsung SDI Co. Ltd and LG Electronics, have lately increased PDP production, according to industry sources.

The sources expected that global demand for flat-screen TVs this year will jump 29 percent to 112 million units from 87 million in 2007. Demand for PDP module is expected to rise to 15.4 million units from 12.7 million last year.

LG Electronics and Samsung SDI this year will increase PDP module production by 100 percent and 70 percent to 6.5 million and 5.3 million units, respectively, sources from both companies said.

Samsung has thoroughly reorganized its cathode ray tube business and shifted focus onto PDP production, and LG has gone through similar restructuring in a move to start PDP production in earnest.

PDP sales were spectacular in the fourth quarter last year. Samsung, helped by sales increases in all PDP models, earned 504 billion won in profits by selling a record 1.1 million units. LG's profit from selling PDP TVs also increased by more than 40 percent year-on-year.

LG Electronics said it would widely promote PG60, a new PDP TV and winner of the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show Award, and greatly increase 32-inch PDP module production to over 30 percent of flat TV products. The module was a huge success last year in emerging markets, including China.

Samsung SDI plans to increase 50-inch PDP TV production up to 50 percent of all products and jump into the 32-inch PDP TV market soon.

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