Samsung sees full-year profit increase by 30% in 2020

All of the company's businesses posted stable profits despite challenges from the pandemic

Samsung Electronics said on Thursday it has posted 9.05 trillion won in operating income and 61.55 trillion won in sales for the fourth quarter of 2020.

It is an increase of 26.4% and 2.7%, respectively, from the same time period a year ago.

For the full year of 2020, the company reported 36 trillion won in operating income and 236.8 trillion won in sales, a rise of 29.6% and 2.7%, respectively, from 2019.

Semiconductor and display panel businesses led the way, together contributing 5.63 trillion won in operating income for the fourth quarter.  

The company also saw solid shipments in memory products, though it was weighed down by a continued decline in chip prices and unfavourable currency exchange rate between South Korea's won and US dollar. Samsung's memory business recorded 3.85 trillion won in operating income.

Meanwhile, the display panel business posted record quarterly operating income of 1.75 trillion won, which was largely thanks to a recovery in demand for smartphones and TVs following the economic rebound in the second half of 2020.

The mobile business recorded 2.42 trillion won in operating income, a 4% decline from the same time period a year ago. Demand was high from strong year-end demand and gradual economic recovery, but the business also increased its marketing spend during the quarter, Samsung said.

The consumer electronics business posted 820 billion won in operating income for the fourth quarter, which was level with that of the previous year. Sales increased but there was also intense competition in that period, the company said.

Challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic continued in the fourth quarter but efforts to ensure a stable supply of products and services ultimately helped its results, Samsung said.  

For 2021, Samsung said it expected a recovery in overall global demand though uncertainties continue to persist due to the possibility of recurring COVID-19 waves.

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