Sales of LCD panels suffer because no one's buying TVs

Lower prices and a lack of demand have meant Taiwanese display panel manufacturers are suffering from revenue declines.

According to display analyst Goksen Sertler at Meko, it could just get worse as a result of a lack of major events this year.

Taiwan Economic News reported manufacturers are experiencing reenue declines. It cited Chimei Innolux, one of the larger producers in Taiwan as only reaching a revenue of NT$40.292 billion ($1.38 billion) for April.

That’s a 13.5 percent change from March, while shipments only totalled 11.03 million units of large-sized display panels and 29.55 million units of small and medium-sized models. These represented a decline of  5.3 percent and 21.5 percent respectively month-on-month.

The AU Optronics camp didn’t have much luck either, with a revenue drop of 7.7 percent in April, while Chunghwa Picture Tubes saw a 4.9 percent decline from March.

“Revenues of these companies have been affected by two factors. Prices and of course shipments,” Sertler told TechEye.

“Revenues have been down the past two to three months because there isn’t the demand for products. This is attached to price demands too which have declined because everyone is now offering LED screens. This technology used to be at a premium but now many manufacturers offer LED backlit features.

“The more supply, the more prices have to go down to compete, meaning a hit in revenues.

“Shipments for each company have also fallen as manufacturers are now spoilt for choice.”

Sertler explained that a lack of events on the social calendar, both in Europe and China, mean that no one wants to fork out for TVs.  

“In Europe alone, for example, there are currently no promotions or events to drive the purchasing of these TVs,” she said.

“Last year we were boosted by the World Cup, this year we have no major events. Of course, this will change next year when the Olympics arrives in the UK, but that’s then, not now.”

Over in China, it also seems buying is waning as a result of Labor day.

“Labor day in China was in the beginning of May,” said Sertler. At the time there was plenty of consumer activity but it has since slowed.

“It has passed now, so there aren’t many events to drive the volume world-wide from China
until New Year sales.”

Back in Europe, Sertler says there’s a split in Western and Eastern regions.

The Western market is saturated meaning demand is low, while the Eastern market is yet to catch up with the technology as many households can’t afford it.