Samsung has reported another quarter of record profits driven by its smartphone division, with its bottom line up 41.6% to 7.15tr Korean Won (£4.2bn).
Its mobile division accounted for almost three quarters of its operating profit, with the wing seeing its profits rise from 4.18tr Won (£2.4bn) last year to 6.51tr Won (£3.8bn). Sales leaped in the division by 49.8% to 31.77tr Won (£18.5bn), driven by steady sales of the Galaxy SIII and an increase in sales of its Galaxy Note II phablet. Its S4 was meant to go on sale today (26 April) but the launch has been hindered by a shortage of stock, leaving retailers angry at being unable to fulfil pre-orders.
Samsung warned the second quarter of this year would see flat smartphone sales, with demand picking up during the second half of 2013. It said: 'As more mid- to low-end mobile devices enter the market and new premium products are rolled out, the race for market share will intensify.' Robert Yi, senior vice-president and head of investor relations, said: 'Although market uncertainties from the European crisis and the slow global economic recovery are still lingering, we expect to increase R&D spending for strengthening our competitiveness ahead of planned new product launches.'
Across Samsung's total business, sales fell 6% sequentially to 52.87tr Won (£30.7bn), but were up 16.8% on the same period last year. The Korean manufacturer is the world's biggest phone maker and its continued fortunes contrast with those of Apple, who earlier this week reported its first drop in profits for almost a decade.
Author: Graeme Neill