Samsung says considering options for LCD business

SEOUL Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:41am GMT

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SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co said on Tuesday it is considering various options to improve competitiveness of its loss-making LCD flat-screen business but declined to comment on a media report that it may spin off the operation.

The potential restructuring comes after it ended its liquid crystal display (LCD) venture with Sony Corp recently and as demand growth for flat-screens weakened sharply due to rising competition from China and slack television sales globally.

Major display makers from Samsung to LG Display Co are shifting to a newer type of flat-screen display called organic light-emitting diode (OLED), which is currently used mainly in high-end smartphones, betting the new technology will replace LCD in larger-sized screens such as TV displays.

The South Korean firm said earlier this month that it may fully take over its unlisted OLED making unit Samsung Mobile Display.

Some analysts believe Samsung may merge the more profitable OLED business with its LCD operation and convert part of LCD production capacity into OLED manufacturing lines.

"We are internally reviewing various options but nothing has been decided yet," Samsung spokesman James Chung said.

The Chosun Ilbo reported on Tuesday in an unsourced report that Samsung was considering spinning off its LCD business, which incurred more than 1 trillion won ($891 million) in operating loss in 2011.

Samsung vies with local rival LG Display for the title of the world's top maker of LCD flat-screens, which are mainly used in handsets, smartphones, computers, laptops and television display. ($1 = 1121.9000 Korean won)

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by David Chance)

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