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Apple orders' slowdown weighs on LG Display's profit

A general view of the LG booth is

A general view of the LG booth is seen at the 2013 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Jan. 8, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty Images

LG Display Co., the world's second-largest flat-panel maker, posted a first-quarter profit as increased demand for TV screens in China helped offset falling sales of smaller displays to Apple Inc.

Net income was 3.49 billion won ($3.1 million) in the three months ended March 31, compared with a 129 billion-won loss a year earlier, the Seoul-based company said in a statement Monday. The average of 25 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for profit of 76 billion won.

LG Display is betting that high-end screens, including TV panels using organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs, will lift profit and make up for a drop in sales to Apple. Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple is expected to release new products in the second half of this year.

"China demand was relatively strong compared to that of North America and Europe," said Lee Sung Chul, a Seoul-based analyst at Shinyoung Securities Co.

"Chinese TV vendors aggressively promoted their TV sales during the quarter." LG Display rose 2.2 percent to 30,450 won at the close of trading in Seoul, while the benchmark Kospi index climbed 1 percent.

Operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, was 151.3 billion won on sales of 6.8 trillion won.

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