TPV Technology, the world's largest maker of computer monitors, said its first-half profit fell 8.4 per cent due to price competition in liquid crystal display monitors. Net profit fell to US$67.9 million for the six months to June, from US$74.1 million a year ago despite a 16.8 per cent increase in sales to US$3.8 billion. Average selling price of LCD monitors fell 11.1 per cent to US$157.9 in the second quarter from the same period of last year, and 4.7 per cent down from the first quarter. The company said the price of thin film transistor panel, a major component to make flat-screen TVs and monitors, had rebounded since the second quarter due to increased global demand. 'The rebound of panel price may help to boost TPV's margin as the company can sell its inventories at a higher price,' said Frank Wang, an analyst at Morgan Stanley based in Taiwan. 'The worst period for TPV has passed.' TPV shipped 17.9 million LCD monitors in the first half, up 52 per cent from a year ago, while shipments of traditional cathode ray tube monitors nearly halved to 3.44 million units. Shipments of flat screen TVs increased 39 per cent to 1.24 million units. TPV chairman and chief executive Jason Hsuan said the price of a 17-inch panel rose 23 per cent to US$135 recently from the beginning of the year, while that of a 19-inch panel increased 20 per cent to about US$160. The company expected panel supply would remain tight before 2009. 'Following a traditionally weak first quarter which sent panel prices down to cash-cost levels, prices recovered in the second quarter as panel makers cut production,' Mr Hsuan said. 'Also, personal computer makers started building up inventories ahead of summer peak to take advantage of the low prices.' TPV maintained its interim dividend at 80 US cents a share. Its shares fell 4.6 per cent to HK$5.01 yesterday after the results announcement.