KOREA: Samsung announces record sales in 2011, while LG Display reduces its losses

It's that time when some of the big consumer electronics companies release their annual financials – and in the case of Samsung, the figures are very big indeed.

The South Korean giant had sales of KRW165tn (£93.6bn), operating profit of KRW16.2tn (£9.2bn), and net income of 13.73tn (£7.8bn).

That's a record annual sales figure for the company, and the second-best profit result in its history.

A major contribution to that success was made by Samsung's mobile phone division, which saw quarterly earnings of KRW17.82tn (just over £10bn) in the last three months of 2011, a 52% increase on the same period last year.

Operating profit for the period also hit a record at KRW2.64tn, or just short of £1.5bn.

Samsung's Head of Investor Relations, Robert Yi, says that 'Despite intensified competition amid the global economic slowdown, our telecommunications businesses continued to post solid earnings with an enhanced line-up of high-end smartphones, resulting in higher average selling price (ASP).

'Moreover, improved profitability and earnings growth of our businesses, including smartphones and flat panel TVs, led to our company’s strong earnings.'

Although October-December 2011 revenues for the Samsung division covering TVs were up just 4% on the last quarter of 2010, the Digital Media division had revenues of KRW58.92 (£33bn) for the whole of 2011, and operating profit was up 229% year on year.

The company says it achieved this by concentrating on higher-ticket LED-lit TVs: while LED TV sales as a whole grew 40% quarter on quarter at the end of the year, Samsung's LED shipments were up 55%.

And demand for display panels, notably 3D screens for TVs and portable devices, helped rival LG Display improve its figures in the last quarter of 2011.

It may still have made an operating loss of KRW144.8bn (£82m), but that's 60% better than the same period in 2010, despite sale up just 2%.

Its full-year sales were KRW24.29tn, down almost 5% on 2010's results, and the annual operating loss was KRW924.4bn, or about £524m.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.