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UPDATE 2-LG Display to cut 2019 capex as mounting losses bite

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By Ju-min Park and Hyunjoo Jin
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* Loss of 437 bln won (140 bln won profit year earlier)

* Third consecutive quarterly loss

* To cut capex by 6%

* Says structural reforms under way, downsizing LCD lines (Recasts with capex, structural reforms)

By Ju-min Park and Hyunjoo Jin

SEOUL, Oct 23 (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd will chop its spending by 500 billion won ($427 million) and revamp its older LCD TV production lines after falling to a third-quarter loss, it said on Wednesday.

Hurt by lower liquid crystal display (LCD) panel prices, the Apple Inc supplier has replaced long-time CEO Han Sang-beom and started a voluntary redundancy program as part of a cost-cutting drive.

LG Display posted of 437 billion won ($373 million) for the three months to Sept. 30, worse than the 322 billion loss expected by analysts and following a profit of 140 billion a year earlier.

Revenue fell 5% to 5.8 trillion won, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

LG Display, which has posted three consecutive losing quarters, is going through "structural reforms at zero base", Chief Financial Officer Suh Dong-hee said on an earnings call.

It will cut capital spending to 7.5 trillion won from a planned 8 trillion, LG said.

LG also plans to "downsize" two of its LCD TV panel production lines in South Korea and is looking into various options, it said, without elaborating.

Suh said the reforms could be completed by early next year and that LG would share details later.

LG Display has been struggling with a global supply glut in liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) used in television sets, which has pushed down prices.

LCD TV businesses accounted for 32% of LG's revenue in the third quarter, down from 41% the previous quarter due to a reduced utilisation rate of LCD TV panel plants, LG said.

Instead, LG Display is trying to diversify into plastic OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels used in high-end smartphones.

The quickest way LG Display can counter the impact of TV panel price declines is by winning a sizable order for OLED panels for Apple's new iPhone models, analysts said.

Prices for LG Display's main product, 50-inch LCDs for television sets, were down nearly 16% in the third quarter from a year earlier, data from WitsView, part of research provider TrendForce, showed.

Analysts said Chinese display makers supported by government subsidies have been aggressively producing panels to ramp up market share, resulting in a global glut and driving down prices.

LG rival Japan Display Inc, which depends on Apple for around 60% of its revenue, has lost money for the last five years and its liabilities now exceed its assets. It has brushed off concerns about an immediate cash shortfall, however, and a source told Reuters that Apple would support the Japanese company by shortening payment periods.

LG Display shares have fallen 21% year to date, compared with a 1.9% rise in Seoul's benchmark index.

($1 = 1,171.0200 won)

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang, Ju-min Park and Hyunjoo Jin; additional reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Richard Pullin and Jason Neely)