SEOUL, April 22 (Reuters) - LG Display Co Ltd reported on Monday its smallest profit since it returned to the black in the second quarter of last year as demand for iPhone and iPad screens from Apple Inc, its single biggest customer, weakened amid intensifying competition.
LG Display, which vies with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s panel unit for the top position in liquid crystal display flat screens globally, made 151 billion won ($135 million) in operating profit for the January-March quarter. That compared with the average forecast of a 147 billion won profit in a Thomson Reuters poll of analysts.
It was LG Display’s fourth consecutive quarterly profit after seven straight quarters of losses, as manufacturers have since curtailed output after some two years of oversupply.
The result was also a sharp improvement from a loss of 211 billion won a year earlier. But it was down 74 percent from the previous quarter, due largely to weaker sales to Apple, which reports quarterly results on Tuesday.
Analysts see earnings for LG Display improving in the coming quarters as Apple is widely expected to introduce upgraded products later this year and as demand for mobile device screens from affiliate LG Electronics Inc increases.