SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd <034220.KS> said on Tuesday it reported a record fourth-quarter operating profit of 904.3 billion won ($778.33 million) due to a pickup in panel prices.
The world's biggest liquid crystal display (LDC) maker said the profit was caused by the upward trend of panel prices and a favorable foreign exchange rate.
"The upwards trend of panel prices is anticipated to continue thanks to the low inventory level in the industry and the trends towards large-size panels," Chief Financial Officer Don Kim said in a statement.
The price of television LCDs larger than 32 inches has been rising for 10 months, according to data provider WitsView last week.
- PHOTOS: New art and old relics at Mickey Mouse's NYC gallery 25 Pictures
- PHOTOS: See Yes on 3 supporters react to historic transgender rights Question 3 win 11 Pictures
Analysts said the rise was mainly due to supply-side factors such as rival Samsung Display Co Ltd's shutdown of an LCD fabrication plant last year, causing a tight supply-demand environment.
The company said its October-December operating profit of 904.3 billion won rose 1,392 percent from the same period previous year, beating a Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimate of 845 billion won drawn from a survey of 27 analysts.
Revenue for the quarter rose 18 percent from a year earlier to 7.9 trillion won, LG said.
LG Display, which supplies screens for Apple Inc's <AAPL.O> iPhones and LG Electronics Inc's <066570.KS> TV sets, said earlier this month it was in talks with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS> about a supply agreement for TV panels.
(This story corrects percentage of on-year increase in lede, 6th graf.)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)