Samsung to invest $395 m in TV, PC panels

By : |September 29, 2003 0

By Jean Yoon

SEOUL (Reuters) – Technology giant Samsung Electronics co Ltd said that it would invest 452.7 billion won ($395 million) in flat panels for television sets and computer monitors.

Global display makers are investing heavily in new plants that promise to cut costs sharply by using larger plates of glass, from which displays are cut, as they bet the battered IT industry is set to recover from one of the worst downturns over the past few years.

Samsung said the investment would boost the output at Samsung’s sixth liquid crystal display (LCD) line to 100,000 panels per month by mid-2004. The line is set to start producing 60,000 panels a month from early October.

“The additional investment is to secure our lead in the fast-growing TFT-LCD market,” Samsung, the world’s top flat panel maker behind unlisted LG.Philips LCD, said in a statement.

Samsung declined to say whether the investment was a part of the 5.77 trillion won in overall investment earmarked for this year or additional spending and said the issue would be addressed in its third-quarter results announcement on October 17.

The company also did not specify how the investment would be funded, but analysts said it was likely to come from its own funds, since it has more than six trillion won in cash reserves following record earnings last year.

Samsung has said it would invest about 20 trillion won on new production lines for LCD panels by 2010.

Flat panel makers are increasingly turning to TV markets, instead of PCs and notebook markets, as TV yields are richer, with laptop-sized 15-inch screens selling at about $13 per inch compared to $100 per inch for screens of 40 inches or larger.

Shares in Samsung, Asia’s most valuable technology stock and South Korea’s largest issue with a market value of $55 billion, closed up 1.42 percent at 392,000 won, outperforming a 0.2 percent rise in the broader market. The investment plan was announced after the market had closed.

© Reuters

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