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Corning Bullish on LCD Glass Business
Jun 2003
CORNING, N.Y., June 27 --Corning Inc. told financial analysts today that the active matrix liquid crystal display (LCD) glass industry is expected to continue experiencing strong annual growth over the next several years and that the company is well-positioned to take advantage of this opportunity.

During a presentation at the company's Harrodsburg, Ky., plant, Corning said that LCD glass industry annual volume growth could reach as high as 30 to 50 percent through 2007 and that key market drivers include increasing market penetration of LCD desktop monitors, the continuing popularity of notebook computers and LCD technology substitution for color television.

"We expect almost 40 percent of all desktop computer monitors sold this year to be LCDs, compared to 28 percent last year, and LCD desktop monitor penetration could reach 80 percent by 2007," said Donald B. McNaughton, senior vice president of Corning's display business. He said, "Notebook computers, all of which have LCD screens, also continue to appeal to more users. Average screen size is increasing for both desktop monitors and notebook displays, adding to the growth of LCD glass demand."

McNaughton also said television is the next frontier for LCD growth. "LCD television represents only two percent of the color television market today, but new, larger screen sizes, falling prices and expanding availability will drive market penetration to over 10 percent in 2007," he said.

To produce these larger screen sizes and to drive manufacturing efficiencies, customers are demanding larger and larger sheets of glass. McNaughton said larger sheets of glass allow for economies of scale, which will enable lower prices for the end-customer and drive faster adoption of LCD technology. He said this need plays to the company's technology strengths. "We have highly efficient LCD glass manufacturing processes, and our proprietary fusion manufacturing process creates semiconductor surface quality that leads the industry and is critical in making LCD displays."

Corning also discussed its position as a supplier of commercially available thin-film transistor-grade Generation 6 LCD glass substrates. These large sheets of glass measure approximately five feet by six feet; they are expected to be a catalyst to significantly increased output in display manufacturing and in streamlining display production costs. "Our technology for large, clean, stable and flat glass makes us the company of choice for LCD glass, McNaughton said. "This increased size delivers dramatic economies of scale to the LCD industry, enabling Corning's customers to manufacture significantly more and significantly larger displays."

The large Generation 6 substrates are commercially available only from Corning to LCD panel manufacturers in each of the world's key display-producing regions--Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Korea is served through Corning's equity venture, Samsung Corning Precision Glass Co. Ltd.

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