April 28, 2017 / 8:53 AM / 9 months ago

Merck KGaA says dominance in liquid crystals could be at risk

FRANKFURT, April 28 (Reuters) - Germany’s Merck KGaA , the world’s largest maker of liquid crystals for flat screens, cautioned that its dominance of that market could erode over time, making the case for more investments into newer OLED display technologies.

“We know ... that our market shares in recent years were very high. At the present time we cannot rule out a further normalization. We will therefore forge ahead with new technologies in all four business units, for instance OLED,” Chief Executive Stefan Oschmann told shareholders at the annual general meeting on Friday.

Merck commands about 60 percent of the liquid crystals, with Japanese companies JNC Corp. and DIC Corp as runners-up, and the technology is a major profit driver for the diversified German group, which also makes pharmaceuticals and supplies for labs and bioreactors.

For now, an ongoing recovery in the display market should have a positive effect on the liquid crystals business, the CEO added. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Arno Schuetze)

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