Samsung Electronics achieved sales of 65.98 trillion won and business profit of 15.15 trillion won through the fourth quarter of 2017 performance conference call which was held on 31 January. Moreover, Samsung Electronics achieved 11.18 trillion won and business profit of 1.41 trillion won in display business.
Display business sales was increased up to 35% compared to the former quarter and 50.7% compared to the same quarter of the last year. The business profit was increased up to 45.4% compared to the former quarter and 52% compared to the same quarter of the last year. Display business achieved annual sales of 34.46 trillion won and business profit of 5.39 trillion won. OLED sales in the display business accounted for the latter half of 70%.
According to Samsung Electronics, the performance of the fourth quarter of 2017 was developed compared to the former quarter by the expanded supply of flagship smartphone panels for major OLED customers. However, profits of LCD department were decreased due to seasonally low demand and falling panel prices.
Samsung Electronics reported that profitability may be weakened due to the intensifying competition with LTPS LCD and sluggish demand for OLED in the first quarter of 2018. Samsung Electronics plans to expand sales portion of flagship product panels, diversifying customers and improve profitability by productivity improvement.
Although the LCD department is a seasonally low season, it is expected that the line rater of operation will be stabilized by high-resolution and large-scale trend of TV and effects of sports event in the first half of year. Samsung Electronics plans to increase profitability by strengthening yield and cost-cutting activities and expand sales portion of high value-added products such as UHD, large-size and quantum dot in order to raise profitability.
In 2018, OLED department is expected to become the mainstream in the mobile market. Samsung Electronics plans to actively respond to demand from major smartphone companies and expand its market share by strengthening technology differentiation from LTPS LCD.
Also, Samsung Electronics will strengthen its capabilities in new application areas such as IT and electronics to secure new growth based on technology and cost competitiveness.
LCD department reported that uncertainty of the market may be more severe as Chinese company expand its capacity and intensify their competition.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, Samsung Electronics sold 86 million cell phones and 7 million tablets. It is reported that sales volume of cell phone and tablet sales are expected to decline slightly compared to the first quarter of 2018.
Samsung Electronics’ facility investment in 2017 was a total of 43.4 trillion won and 13.5 trillion won was invested in the display business. In the case of display business, Samsung Electronics invested greatly on OLED capacity expansion to raise profits through flexible OLED panel customers. The 2018 investment plan is not yet settled but is expected to decline compared to the last year.
Kwon Young Choi, managing director of Samsung Display said, “We are continuously expanding sales channels in China in order to reduce reliance on mobile OLED sales to specific customers and decrease of volumes of orders on iPhone X will not be significantly affected by temporary fluctuations in demand.”
He added that “we are preparing various applications including foldable phone to meet customer demand and it is important to raise the level of perfection to the level desired by the market and consumers.” He also said that “the new production complex (A5) has not yet been specifically defined in terms of operation time, production products, and production volume.”