Samsung jumps back to profit in 4th quarter
Samsung Electronics Co. returned to profit in the fourth-quarter on strong sales of flat screen televisions and mobile phones as well as higher prices for computer memory chips following a rare loss the year before.
The company, a major global producer of consumer electronics products and components that make them work, earned 3.05 trillion won ($2.64 billion) in the three months ended Dec. 31 on a parent basis, it said in a statement.
Samsung had a net loss of 22 billion won in the same period the year before. That red ink — Samsung's first since it began reporting results on a quarterly basis in the third quarter of 2000 — sent shockwaves through the company and came as the global economic slump hit demand.
Samsung said its "strong performance" during the fourth-quarter last year was bolstered by improving prices for memory chips and a seasonal increase in sales of consumer electronics.
Samsung said it sold nearly 11 million flat screen TVs in the quarter and became the first manufacturer to exceed the 10 million mark.
The company sold 69 million mobile phone handsets in the quarter, up 16 percent from the same period the year before. Total 2009 sales reached 227 million.
Looking ahead, the company said it expects "positive growth across its businesses in 2010," citing stronger demand for flat screen TVs, mobile phones and laptop computers resulting from the ongoing economic recovery.
The Suwon, South Korea-based company is the world's largest manufacturer of computer memory chips, flat screen televisions and liquid crystal displays. It ranks No. 2 in cell phones behind Finland's Nokia Corp.
Samsung said sales in the fourth quarter reached 25.32 trillion won, which was 37 percent higher that the 18.45 trillion won reported a year earlier.
In a separate regulatory filing, the company said that it earned 9.65 trillion won in all of 2009. It reported a net profit of 5.53 trillion won in 2008. Samsung also said sales last year rose 23 percent to 89.77 trillion won from 72.95 trillion won the year before.
Shares in Samsung, which released its earnings results about 30 minutes after the stock market opened, fell 2 percent to 792,000 won in late morning trading. The company's stock price rose 77 percent in 2009.