Samsung ended a stellar 2012 with quarterly profits of 7.04 trillion Won, up 76% on 2011.
The Korean manufacturer became the world's biggest phone maker last year, overtaking Nokia for the first time. Samsung said mobile, particularly sales of the Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Note II, was a key driver of sales growth. Its mobile communication division had sales of 27.23 trillion Won, almost half of Samsung's quarterly sales across the entire business of 56.06 trillion Won. Sales in that division were up 4% on the previous quarter and 58.5% on last year. Profit for its IT and mobile communications wing was 5.44tr Won, down 3% on its last quarter but more than doubled compared to 2011.
Samsung has been lauded for its big spending approach to marketing and distribution and this shows no sign of abating in 2013, as it gears up to launch the Galaxy SIV later this year. The manufacturer said its expenditure for the year ahead will be similar to the past 12 months.
However, the manufacturer did warn that the spectacular growth spurt in the smartphone market during the previous year will slow down amid 'intensifying price competition'. It said demand would slow in developed markets like Europe in the first quarter of 2013, with the growth in emerging markets as smartphones get cheaper and demand for tablets increases.
Robert Yi, senior vice-president and head of investor relations, said: 'Despite uncertainties in Europe and concerns over the US fiscal cliff creating a difficult business environment, we did our best this quarter to achieve strong earnings based on a strategic focus on differentiated and high value-added products as well as our technological competitiveness.'
Author: Graeme Neill