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Samsung Posts $50B Profit, Display & Chips Soar, Mobile Down

Samsung has posted a record fourth quarter earnings result, notching a US$50 billion operating profit for 2017, despite a leadership crisis and its Group Chief being charged with bribery. It marks Samsung’s third consecutive quarter of record results.

The South Korean giant posted a US$14 billion fourth quarter operating profit, largely driven by the strength of its chip and display business.

Samsung’s latest results significantly surpass its 2016 fourth quarter operating profit of US$8.6 billion – naturally impacted by the circumstances of the Note 7 at the time.

Overall, Samsung notched US$61.5 billion in consolidated revenue for Q4FY17, and US$223 billion for 2017.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

As reported by Bloomberg, the results make Samsung the world’s biggest chipmaker (by revenue), having posted US$69 billion in chip sales for the year. The results surpass that of Intel which was reportedly US$63 billion.

The company’s memory chip division notched a US$10 billion operating profit for Q4FY17.

Samsung Display clearly benefited from Apple’s exclusive OLED orders for its iPhone X in Q4FY17, posting a US$1.3 billion operating profit.

The company’s mobile business was impacted by increased marketing expenses over the holiday period, thereby reducing the division’s operating profit YOY to US$2.25 billion in Q4FY17, from US$2.3 billion in Q4FY16.

Samsung’s low-end smartphones saw shipments drop, whilst shipments for the flagship Galaxy Note 8 jumped from the previous quarter.

The company forecasts that its mobile division will rebound after the launch of the forthcoming Galaxy S9, citing “growing replacement demand for premium smartphones”. The S9 is scheduled to make its global debut on February 25th.

Samsung’s top earning components business will further expand its NAND production in 2018 to meet growing demand, and is placing further emphasis on OLEDs, affirming they will become the “mainstream panel in the smartphone industry”.

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