Samsung Australia full-year results remain steady despite COVID-19 and court action

Net profit after tax increased marginally while revenue shifted slightly lower during the 2020 financial year.

Samsung's Australian subsidiary has reported net profit after tax of AU$39.6 million for the year ended 31 December 2020, up marginally from last year's AU$38.5 million.

The results revealed that despite the slight increase in net profit, the income tax expense during the year was down compared to the previous year. Samsung Australia paid AU$17 million in taxes during the 2020 financial year, in comparison to the AU$18.8 million that it handed over last year. The company's total tax expense was AU$24.4 million, however, it deferred AU$7.35 million of that figure.

Revenue for the full year dipped slightly year-on-year from AU$2.82 billion to AU$2.77 billion. The sale of goods continues to make a majority of company revenue.  

In 2020, the company had 265 employees, with employee benefits costing the business AU$67 million, about AU$5 million more than last year.

Samsung Australia also highlighted that during the year it accrued AU$16.3 million in potential penalty costs, an amount it would be forced to pay if it was unable to defend legal proceedings taken out against the company by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

On 4 July 2019, the ACCC filed to take Samsung Australia to Federal Court, alleging that 300 of Samsung's advertisements for Galaxy phones were "false, misleading, and deceptive representations".

The pair met in court on 28 July 2020 to determine how expert evidence should be created and evaluated for the case, a move that Samsung labelled as "cheap".

"The reason why we're having this discussion -- the evidence they seek to produce and have challenged is that [testing] would take six months. Our reaction is that that's cheap in a case of this significance. It's not a debacle, it's just a claim made, and not proved," Samsung's senior counsel John Sheahan said in court.

As part of its financial report, Samsung Australia also noted it does not expect "any significant changes" in company operations due to COVID-19, despite expectations that the pandemic will continue to have a negative impact on global economic and market conditions.

In October, Samsung teamed up with Eftpos for a partnership that allows tokenised, contactless transactions to be made through the former's wallet via the latter's network.

The solution allows users on Samsung Pay to choose between making debit card payments via Eftpos or the Visa network. The electronics giant said users can make the choice by means of a simple toggle on the user interface.

Eftpos users are able to withdraw cash from selected merchants and Samsung said such a facility would be extended to the partnership with Samsung Pay. 

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