What drove Samsung’s marvelous year was the company’s semiconductor division, which has been cashing in on the increasing demand and prices of memory chips. The world’s demand for more storage for pictures, videos, files and other digital data in their gadgets and servers, as well as demand for more computing power to run many programs faster, pushed up demand for memory chips that are dominated by Samsung.
Samsung controls about half of the world’s DRAM memory chips that temporarily hold data and help computers run many programs at the same time, and about one third of the world’s NAND chips, which store files.
Some analysts however worry the price of chips may fall this year and weigh on Samsung’s earnings while others remain bullish on Samsung that a possible fall in chip prices would be outweighed by a big increase in sales.
Samsung Electronics said its October-December operating profit jumped 64 percent to a record high, capping off 2017 with the biggest annual operating income and sales in its history thanks to the blockbuster semiconductor business.
The South Korean company put its operating profit at 15.1 trillion won ($ 14.1 billion) for the final three months of last year, compared with 9.2 trillion won a year earlier.
For the entire year, Samsung’s operating income stood at 53.6 trillion won ($50.2 billion), an 83-percent surge from 2016, on sales of 239.6 trillion won ($224.2 billion), up 19 percent from the previous year. Samsung did not give a quarterly net profit or breakdown figures for each businesses. The company is due to disclose more details of its financial performance.