Samsung CE Div. Oper. Profit Turns Black In Q4

By Jeff Malester On Jan 19 2004 - 8:00am

Growing demand for flat screen TVs pushed the digital media, or consumer electronics, division of Samsung Electronics into the black during the company's fourth quarter, while a dramatic demand for digital camera memory chips helped parent Samsung increase sales and operating profit during the three months.

Digital-media-division operating profit moved into the black in the fourth quarter, hitting $2.6 million, compared with a $25.7 million loss in the year-ago period. Fourth quarter sales in the CE division, however, reached $1.8 billion, down from $2.1 billion year-on-year.

Samsung, which said it holds the U.S. market leader position in high-end digital TVs selling for over $3,000, reported strong year-over-year sales of DLP, LCD and PDP products. Sequential CE division quarterly sales rose 14 percent.

Operating profit for the digital media division for the fiscal year hit $127.6 million, compared with $330.1 million the previous 12 months.

Samsung's telecommunications network division, which includes the mobile phone segment, saw fourth quarter sales increase to $3.4 billion, up from $2.9 billion in the same quarter last year. Fourth quarter operating profit reached $621 million, somewhat flat compared with the $600 million recorded a year earlier, due to higher marketing expenses.

The company said 15.5 million handsets were shipped in the fourth quarter, up from 11.6 million in the same three months last year. For the 12 months, 65 million handsets were shipped, compared with 55.6 million year-over-year.

Operating profit for the telecommunications division reached $2.3 billion for the fiscal year, down from $2.6 billion year-over-year.

Overall Samsung sales for the fourth quarter came in at $11 billion, up 22 percent from the $9 billion reported in the same three months last year. Operating profit for the quarter was $2.2 billion, up 64 percent from the $1.4 billion recorded year-on-year. Net profit for the 12 months hit $1.6 billion, up from $1.3 billion in the year-ago period.

For the 12 months, Samsung sales hit $37.1 billion, compared with $34.7 billion the previous fiscal year. Net profit reached $5.1 billion, down from $6 billion year-over-year.

Looking ahead, Samsung anticipates 12-month sales climbing to $39.4 billion, with net profit coming in at $6.5 billion.

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