SAN FRANCISCOSouth Korean giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Thursday (Jan. 28) reported strong sales and profit for the fourth quarter of 2009, citing a 50 percent year-to-year improvement in semiconductor revenue and a seasonal increase in consumer electronics sales.
Samsung also said it expects to significantly increase its capital expenditures in 2010. It increased its capex target to 5.5 trillion won (about $4.7 billion) for its semiconductor business, which is transitioning to manufacturing at the 30-nm node. The company left unchanged a capex estimate of about 3 trillion won for its LCD business.
Last year, Samsung spent roughly 8.1 trillion (about $7 billion) for capital expenditures, including 4.5 trillion won for its semiconductor business and 2.1 trillion won for its LCD business.
Samsung (Seoul, South Korea) said fourth quarter revenue totaled 39.2 trillion won ($33.9 billion), up 19 percent year-to-year. Fourth quarter profit was 3.7 trillion won (about $3.2 billion), down 12.5 percent from the previous quarter but up from a loss in the year-ago quarter, the company said.
For the full year 2009, Samsung said revenue was a record 136.3 trillion won (about $117.6 billion). The company's 2009 operating profit equaled 10.9 trillion won (about $9.4 billion), Samsung said.
Samsung forecast positive growth across its businesses in 2010. The company said it expected continued economic recovery to stimulate demand for flat panel TVs, mobile handsets and notebook PCs.
Samsung said its fourth quarter semiconductor business operating profit reached 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion). Revenue from semiconductors reached 8 trillion won ($6.9 billion), up 50 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008, when Samsung posted its first ever quarterly loss.
Fourth-quarter performance was driven by a rise in market prices for memory chips and solid demand, Samsung said. DRAM spot prices increased by 25 to 30 percent from the beginning of the quarter, supported by strong PC sales, the company said.
Samsung said it expects chip sales to grow 10 to 20 percent in 2010, driven by an improved business environment and increased PC sales.