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TFT profits to go down the toilet

Spending to continue falling in 2002

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Manufacturers of TFT screens are about to see their profits go down the toilet, a report out this week claims.

TFT LCD prices are not expected to rise until the fourth quarter of next year, while production has been ramped up due to excessive spending in 2000 and 2001, according to US market research outfit DisplaySearch.

"As a result, the profitability outlook for TFT LCD manufacturers is weakened while the unit outlook for price-sensitive markets such as LCD monitors and LCD TVs is improved," the report claims.

Meanwhile, spending on TFT-LCD-related equipment is expected to continue falling. This year it plummeted 22 per cent to $5 billion, and in 2002 it is forecast to drop three per cent to $4.9 billion.

This trend will start to reverse in 2003, due to slight price increases and supply tightening at the end of next year, and spending is expected to rise by 22 per cent during the year, the report states.

Japan is expected to account for half of all spending in 2001, led by Sharp, ST-LCD and Tottori Sanyo. This will switch next year to Taiwan, which will take 41 per cent of the market, compared to Japan's 24 per cent. It will change again in 2003, with Japan taking most market share (37 per cent), followed by Taiwan (34 per cent) and Korea (19 per cent). ®

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