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Chimei Innolux Posts Sixth Quarterly Loss as Prices Drop

Chimei Innolux Corp., Taiwan’s largest maker of liquid-crystal displays, posted its sixth straight quarterly loss as prices fell amid oversupply and slowing demand for panels.

The fourth-quarter net loss narrowed to NT$19.99 billion ($677.7 million) compared with NT$24.13 billion a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on full-year results. The average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for a loss of NT$11.27 billion. Consolidated revenue was NT$137.6 billion, compared with NT$136.5 billion in 2010, the figures showed.

Chimei Innolux joins display manufacturers Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co. in posting losses from making the panels used in televisions, notebooks and tablet computers amid a glut that has persisted for more than a year.

Global LCD revenue dropped 12 percent in 2011 to $75.5 billion, dragged down by declining demand for TVs, computer monitors and mini notebooks, DisplaySearch, a unit of Santa Clara, California-based NPD Group Inc., said Feb. 21.

Losses in the flat-panel display industry have continued for six quarters, its longest downturn on record, the researcher said in a separate report on Feb. 14.

“Delays in capacity expansion in 2012 and 2013 combined with continuously increasing demand are expected to finally start pushing the industry towards a healthier future,” said Charles Annis, a researcher at DisplaySearch, in the report.

Chimei Innolux and a group of creditors led by Bank of Taiwan agreed on a debt repayment plan on Feb. 17, the Taipei-based lender said that day, without providing details. The panel-maker had been seeking to negotiate about NT$200 billion of loans, including payments on debt that had already matured, Chief Financial Officer Eddie Chen said Feb. 7.

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