LG tops global plasma sales ahead of Samsung and Panasonic

By James Wells

SYDNEY: LG Electronics Australia has issued a press release boasting that it has confirmed its leadership in visual converging technologies by topping global sales of plasma display panels (PDPs) in the first quarter of 2006, ending 31 March.

LG Electronics gained the number one position from Japan’s Matsushita Electric Industrial, the parent company of the Panasonic brand globally.

The quarterly results, conducted by US-based market analyst DisplaySearch reported LG Electronics was also the world’s biggest PDP producer for the first time since 2001.

LG Electronics’ PDP shipments increased nine per cent to 730,000 units globally in this first quarter worth $US569 million, becoming the market leader with a 31.3 per cent share ahead of Matsushita (Panasonic) with 560,000 panels and Samsung was down 21 per cent with 550,000 panels. Both companies held approximately 24 per cent share.

Global shipments of plasma displays experienced their first quarter on quarter decline, falling by 11 per cent to 2.3 million units, according to DisplaySearch. Prices declined by just one per cent following demand for larger screen sizes.

Samsung has increased its forecast for the global PDP market from 11 million units to 12 million units and will be developing a fourth manufacturing plant to increase production to 7.32 million units.

"We will keep our spot as the No. 1 plasma panel maker this year and become the largest plasma TV maker in 2007," said LG Electronics digital display president and chief executive, Yoon Sanh-han.

According to LG Electronics Australia marketing category manager – audio visual, Darren Goble, LG’s strong results in PDP globally has been replicated in Australia.

“LG has been the leading supplier and winner of the Australian GFK No.1 sales awards in plasma since 2004 and currently commands a unit market share in Australia in excess of 30 per cent,” Goble said.

“With consumer preferences shifting towards flat panel technologies LG’s success lies in its ability to differentiate from competitors with its fully integrated approach,” he said.

Over 60 Australian retailers voted LG Electronics as the Best Visual Supplier and Supplier of the Year at the inaugural Electrical Retailing Awards (ERAs) held last month.

Goble believes LG has revolutionised the way Australians experience television, with the 2005 launch of a 50-inch (127cm) plasma television that incorporates a fully integrated high-definition (HD) digital tuner – the first of its kind in the world.

“LG was the first to deliver a product that allows consumers to experience high-definition TV combined with the exceptional picture quality of plasma, without the inconvenience and cost of purchasing an additional set-top box. We have enjoyed enthusiastic support from customers for this style of integrated television and have now expanded our range across multiple display technologies (LCD, DLP, LCoS)”

“Achieving the number one spot in plasma display panels globally re-affirms the outstanding quality of our products and our commitment to understanding consumer trends around the world, a theme that also rings true here in Australia,” Goble said.

LG is embarking on a major marketing push for its range of integrated high definition televisions leading up to and during the 2006 World Cup and sustainable growth in plasma and LCD TV sales is anticipated.

Further developments in this category will see LG release their Integrated Plasma DVR – a 50-inch high definition panel with an inbuilt 250GB DVR, which enables the recording and playback of high definition content all in the one unit. The product is expected to be released towards the end of this year and will be on display at the Sydney Home Show later this month.

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