Seoul, Korea - Samsung Electronics reported higher revenue and operating profit during the fourth quarter, driven in part by smartphones and LED TVs.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, consolidated revenue was 47.3 trillion Korean won, a 13-percent increase year on year, while consolidated operating profit was 5.3 trillion won, representing a 79-percent increase year on year.
Consolidated net profit for the quarter was 4 trillion won.
The fourth-quarter results brought Samsung's full-year 2011 revenue to an all-time high of 165 trillion won, up 7 percent from the previous year, the company said.
Full year net income registered 13.73 trillion won, down 15 percent compared with 2010, while operating profit was 16.25 trillion won, a 6-percent on-year decline.
Samsung registered full year 2011 operating profit of 8.27 trillion won, up 90 percent comparedwith last year. Total sales for fiscal year 2011 also hit an all-time yearly high of 55.53 trillion won, accounting for almost one-third of Samsung Electronics' total revenue for the year.
Highlighting the quarterly performance, Samsung's telecommunications business reported record quarterly earnings of 17.82 trillion won, up 52 percent from the previous year, with growth mainly driven by strong sales of Samsung's Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note. Operating profit for the telco businesses also hit a record 2.64 trillion won on-quarter.
"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. Moreover, improved profitability and earnings growth of our set businesses, including smartphones and flat panel TVs, led to our company's strong earnings," said Robert Yi, senior VP and head of investor relations.
In the quarter, Samsung's reinforced lineup of LED TVs, including premium models for advanced markets and region-specific models for emerging markets, has also improved quarter-on-quarter sales.
The display panel business recorded an operating loss of 0.22 trillion won on revenue of 8.55 trillion won in the fourth quarter and a sales increase of 19 percent from a year ago on the back of peak seasonal demand, Samsung said.
For fiscal year 2011, the display panel business posted a 0.75 trillion won operating loss while posting 29.24 trillion won in revenue.
Samsung said that despite concerns over a slowdown in sales and a sluggish European economy, demand remained steady during the traditionally high end-of-year season, including Black Friday sales in North America, helping the TV panel market to post a 5-percent on-quarter increase. However, IT panel demand was negatively impacted due to the flooding in Thailand, declining on-quarter.
On the back of value-added products such as LED and 3D TVs, Samsung outpaced market growth with a more than 20 percent increase in TV panel shipments compared with the previous quarter, the company said.
Smartphone sales were a main driver in Samsung's telecommunications businesses - including mobile communications and telecommunication systems. The unit posted a record quarterly operating profit of 2.64 trillion won for the period. Fourth-quarter revenue reached a record 17.82 trillion won, compared with 11.75 trillion won for the same period of 2010.
All told, shipments of Samsung smartphones rose by approximately 30 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with the previous quarter, the company said.
Samsung's digital media and appliances businesses, which encompass visual display, digital appliances, IT solutions, and digital imaging, posted quarterly revenues of 16.96 trillion won for the October to December period, up 4 percent year-on-year. The businesses registered an operating profit of 0.57 trillion won in the fourth quarter.
For the full year 2011, the digital media businesses' combined revenue totaled 58.92 trillion, with operating profit up 229 percent on-year to 1.41 trillion won.
Sales of LED TVs grew strongly during the fourth quarter on traditionally high seasonal demand, achieving 40 percent growth on-quarter. Against this, Samsung said it outperformed the market by focusing on sales of premium models, shipping over 55 percent more LED TVs compared to the previous quarter.
In the digital appliances market, the company achieved quarter-on-quarter sales growth in developed markets such as the U.S. and Europe, Samsung said.