TCL now second largest TV manufacturer

Will TCL settle for second place?

by Andy Bassett Mar 29, 2019 at 11:19 AM


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    TCL now second largest TV manufacturer
    As reported by Chinese-based research firm, Sigmaintell, TCL Electronics hit a record turnover of HK$46 billion (€5.1 billion) in 2018 and are now placed second in the global TV market having leapt over LG.
    TCL posted an operating profit of nearly HK$1.2 billion which translated to a post tax profit of HK$935 million - all this is on the back of its global shipments accounting for 11.6% of all TV shipments in 2018. Although obfuscating the actual number of TVs sold, recording the number of units shipped rather than sold is usual practise.

    The Chinese company is using a successful globalisation strategy to move away from the earlier impression that it was mainly a copy-cat manufacturer creating decent quality versions of existing technologies without bringing any particular USP to the mix.

    This approach, couple with an enormous domestic market was more than enough for TCL to get a foot in the door of the global TV arena and growth outside China is now marked. 2018 saw the company’s international turnover increase by 27% to HK$26 billion, eclipsing its domestic turnover of HK$18 billion.

    Important markets such as North America and Europe saw year on year sales volumes increase by 42% and 43% respectively, while emerging markets like India, Southeast Asia, Brazil and Australia also saw healthy year on year sales increases of 30.7% overall.

    TCL officially launched in the UK in 2018 but no specific breakout figures were available to indicate how the company have performed out of the gate here.

    All this is part of an overall upswing in LCD TV sales during 2018 partially driven by globally recognised events such as the World Cup and various royal weddings. Like other manufacturers, TCL reports an increase in the proportion of 55-inch and larger TVs shipped, with figures increasing from 20.6% of the market to 25.2% which means that the average TV screen size has crept up to 42.2-inches. This was accompanied by a surge in shipped 4K sets from 26.4% to 39.6%, all seemingly indicative of a reasonably buoyant TV market.

    All this seems very impressive but even with a healthy dose of scepticism over marketing spin placed on these sort of announcements, TCL look to have laid down a marker in the value-for-money segment of the TV market. However, their plan also appears to include breaking out of the emulation approach of recent years to build on some advances that they have started to make noises about.

    CES 2019 saw TCL showing off Mini LED technology which packs far more LEDs into a display and which can also be combined with Quantum Dot technology to produce superior contrast ratios and colour volumes over traditional LCD screens. However, some regard Mini LED technology as a stepping stone on the way to Micro LED which is still a few years off, by most estimates.

    Recently too, TCL announced some progress in a hybrid technology whereby OLED and Quantum Dot emitters are combined in what’s been described as H-QLED.

    Source: Sigmaintell consultancy and various online resources
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