Samsung has reported a record 2012 fourth quarter operating profit of 8.84 trillion won largely owed to the success of its Galaxy smartphone range.
Net income rose to 7.04 trillion won ($US6.6 billion) from 4 trillion won a year earlier, a 76% surge that surpassed analyst expectations of 6.8 trillion won. Sales totalled 56 trillion won, up 19% year over year, according to Bloomberg’s Businessweek.
On the back of strong demand for its Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note II, Samsung’s mobile division made a 5.44 trillion won operating profit, more than double its 2.56 trillion won results a year earlier. Last year Samsung overtook Apple as the top smartphone maker, announcing 30 million Galaxy S3s and 5 million Galaxy Note IIs have been sold.
Analysts are predicting Samsung will maintain momentum as the company’s low to mid-tier phones prove attractive in China, as iPhones cost as much as the average monthly wage.
“Samsung’s strong earnings momentum will keep on going,” Lee Sun Tae, a Seoul-based analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said before the earnings announcement. “The shipment gap over Apple (AAPL) will get wider and wider.”
Morgan Stanley estimates Samsung sold 63 million smartphones compared to Apple’s 47.87 million iPhones shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Samsung’s display division turned a profit compared to a loss the year before, largely owed to sales of their OLED screens used in Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. Sales of the company’s premium LED televisions continued to grow and they expect continual growth in televisions 60 inches and bigger.
In a statement Samsung said its 2013 investment will be consistent with that of 2012’s, in spite of a bleak PC outlook and Apple’s easing dependence on the company for iPhone components.
Samsung’s shares have climbed by 12% since October, while Apple’s waning smartphone dominance has seen their shares slump by 20%.