SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd booked its highest quarterly profit in almost four years on Wednesday, buoyed by firm demand for liquid crystal displays (LCD) from television makers and client Apple Inc.
The profit was in line with expectations and analysts say the world's top LCD maker will likely see strong earnings growth this year as well, as demand for high-end televisions is expected to further increase.
Apple also reported record iPhone sales for the fiscal quarter ended Dec. 27 and plans to launch a new smartwatch in April, suggesting further sales momentum for LG Display.
For the full year, global LCD shipments are likely to rise about 7 percent to 251 million units as consumers upgrade to larger TVs, according to a report in late December by researcher DisplaySearch.
LG Display said on Wednesday operating profit more than doubled for the October-December period from a year earlier to 625.8 billion won ($580.14 million), in line with a 623 billion won mean profit estimate tipped by a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 36 analysts.
The profit was the highest since the January-March quarter of 2011, the earliest quarter for which LG Display's current accounting standard applies. The company said it would disclose detailed fourth quarter results later on Wednesday.
The company also said it would pay a end-2014 dividend of 500 won per share, its first such payout in four years.
LG Display had previously forecast mid single-digit percentage shipment growth and stable prices in October-December from the previous quarter.
Shares of LG Display were trading down 1.9 percent as of 0125 GMT, compared with a 0.2 percent fall in the broader market.
(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Miral Fahmy)