LED maker Wooree E&L is expanding its LED production to meet high demand for LED from IT products such as notebooks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company was expanding its LED module production line from the previous 18 to 20, a company spokesperson said.
The new lines will start production within this month, they said.
Wooree E&L produces LED modules used in liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for notebooks, monitors, automobile navigation and signage. LED modules are used as the backlight on the panels.
If 20 lines become operational, the company will have a monthly production rate of 4 million light bar units. The modules are supplied to LG Display for use in IT products made by LG Electronics and Dell.
Wooree E&L has already secured orders for the additional lines to operate at full capacity, the spokesperson said. The company expects sales to increase substantially this year.
IT demand has recovered starting in the third quarter of 2020 after the initial wave of the pandemic. Wooree E&L’s share in LED within LG Display has also increased. The company, along with Seoul Semiconductor, took over volumes to LG Display that were previously supplied by LG InnoTek, which is exiting the business.
Wooree E&L’s LED market share in monitors to LG Display has increased from 40% in 2019 to 60% in 2020. In notebooks, the company’s share increased from 20% to 30% in the same time period. The firm has a 40% market in signage within LG Display.
Wooree E&L is also developing MiniLED modules. Samsung, LG and Apple have launched or are planning to launch MiniLED products this year. MiniLED has superior contrast ratio to conventional LEDs.
The company is also expecting its move in October last year to make its Vietnam factory, Wooree Vina, a wholly owned subsidiary, to improve its earnings this year. Wooree Vina manufactures LED, light bar and displays.
Wooree E&L posted 86.3 billion won in sales and 2.1 billion won in operating income up to the third quarter in 2020, a decline of 16% and 34%, respectively, from the same time period a year ago. In the first half of 2020, its sales and operating income dropped 20% and 56%, respectively, from a year ago but in the third quarter earnings recovered to 90% of what it was a year ago.
In 2012, Wooree E&L posted sales of 508.9 billion won but this nosed dived to 197.4 billion won in 2014. In 2019, sales dropped to mid-100 billion won.