Thu, Feb 01, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Samsung Electronics’ Q4 profit sets quarter record

AFP, SEOUL

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd yesterday reported a 73 percent jump in its fourth quarter net profit, setting a record for any three-month period, driven by demand for its memory chips and display panels.

Net profit for the October to December period last year hit 12.26 trillion won (US$11.4 billion), the South Korean tech giant said in a statement, on sales up 23.7 percent to 65.98 trillion won.

Samsung Electronics, the flagship subsidiary of the giant Samsung Group, has had to overcome a humiliating recall of the Galaxy Note 7 device and the jailing of vice-chairman Jay Y. Lee on corruption charges, but its financial performance has gone from strength to strength.

Its shares have more than doubled in the past two years on the back of its results, reaching levels of more than 2.5 million won apiece, putting them out of reach of many small investors.

The firm announced a 50-for-one stock split, sending the shares up 6.4 percent in mid-morning trade.

“The stock split signals Samsung will stay on its course bolstering returns to shareholders,” said Cho Ik-jae at Hi Investment and Securities. “It will take further shareholder-friendly steps, including larger dividends and buybacks.”

Operating profit came to 15.15 trillion won in the fourth quarter, up 64.3 percent won from a year earlier, Samsung Electronics said, in line with the indication it issued earlier last month.

Fourth-quarter earnings were driven by the components business, with the largest contribution coming from the memory business that manufactures DRAM and NAND chips, the company said.

“Orders for high-performance memory products for servers and mobile storage were strong,” it said, and the display panel business, which manufactures OLED and LCD screens, saw increased shipments of OLED panels for premium smartphones.

However, seasonal factors impacted growth for the System LSI and Foundry businesses, it said, and profitability for LCD panels.

Earnings in the mobile business also fell on the back of higher marketing costs.

Operating profits were also undercut by about 660 billion won due to the won’s appreciation against the US dollar and other major currencies, it added.

For the full year, net profit was also a record at 42.19 trillion won, up 85.6 percent on 2016, on sales of 239.58 trillion won.

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