Samsung Electronics said Friday that last year was a record for the technology heavyweight in terms of revenue.
Stellar performances of Samsung smartphones more than made up for declining earnings of its chip and panel businesses amid oversupplies and the eurozone debt crisis, according to Samsung and market analysts.
In a statement, Samsung said its revenue for the whole of 2011 amounted to a record high of 164.7 trillion won. Its 2011 operating profit was tallied at 16.15 trillion won.
In the fourth quarter alone, it posted an operating profit of 5.2 trillion won, compared with 3.01 trillion won a year ago. But Samsung’s fourth-quarter earnings included its one-time gain of 700 billion won by selling its hard disk drive unit to Seagate Technology. The company’s fourth-quarter revenue was estimated at 47 trillion won.
``We can confirm that Samsung has surpassed 150 trillion won in annual revenue and 15 trillion won in annual profit for the second straight year,’’ said company spokesman Lee Seung-joon.
Samsung is targeting 184 trillion won in sales and 19 trillion won in operating profit for this year.
The company’s traditionally strong component business that capitalize on memory chips and flat screens will return to normal from the latter half of this year after struggling last year, Samsung officials said.
``The key `hidden factor’ making it possible for Samsung to report the biggest earnings last year was the rapid rises in the sales of smartphones. The company’s entire profit margin is dependent on its telecommunication business,’’ said an official who is knowledgeable on the issue.
Samsung sources told The Korea Times that it sold over 100 million handsets including less-pricey basic and Galaxy lines in the fourth quarter, which is a milestone in Samsung’s history. It is also known to have sold more than 100 million smartphones for the whole of last year, according to the sources.
``We are aiming to beat Finland’s Nokia to become the world’s biggest phone manufacturer in terms of shipments from the start of this year. We don’t see any significant problems in surpassing Nokia,’’ the official said.
Samsung, which bought out Sony’s stake in their TV panel venture last month, has been releasing more phones and tablet computers to offset a slump in memory chips and liquid crystal display panels.
Samsung’s smartphone sales more than tripled during the latest quarter from a year ago, and its market share more than doubled, Samsung said in the statement.
The Galaxy S II sales, which began in May, also surpassed 10-million mark, outpacing any other Samsung mobile device.
``Samsung is ideally positioned to grow its business. Its LCD business is shifting toward profitable AMOLED while boosting the output of less-volatile non-memory chips such as mobile APs,’’ said Lim Dong-rak, an analyst at Hanyang Securities.
Nomura Securities estimated that Samsung Electronics shares will rise by 20 percent additionally, citing sustainable growths in smartphones and an increasing market influence of its chips and LCDs.
``Samsung is faring better than its rivals thanks to its diversification into specialty chips for mobile devices and the increasing shipments of AMOLED displays which are currently used in tablets and smartphones,’’ Lim said.