Samsung gets boost from extra smartphone sales

Posted by Andrea Petrou

Growing sales of its smartphones have helped Samsung reach a record quarterly profit.

The company announced that it had raked in a net profit of $6.4 billion in the first quarter of 2013, 42 percent higher than the same time last year.

Samsung said its IM Division rang up the first quarter with a  seven percent increase from the previous quarter. It added that this was driven by "sound sales" of its GALAXY S III and GALAXY Note II devices, which aided profit margins for Mobile Communications.

However it warned that it expected global demand for smartphones in the second quarter would "dampen" as a result of  "heightened competition".

It also admitted that the January-to-March quarter proved trying on the PC business, while the Networks Business came around with a stable supply of Long Term Evolution (LTE), fourth-generation equipment.

Demand for consumer electronics products in emerging markets stemmed further sales losses but weak seasonality and a sluggish economy took their toll on Samsung’s sales of TVs and home appliances. However, Samsung's VP and Head of Investor Relations moved to drum up support claiming the company expected to increase R&D spending for strengthening its "competitiveness ahead of planned new product launches.”

He did, however manage expectations, warning that  the company couls experience stiffer competition in the mobile business due to expansion of the mid- to low-end smartphone market while TV growth would continue to wane in developed markets.

On the components side, global supply of PC DRAM remained weak, brought on by adjustments in the product mix by chip makers opting to manufacture mobile and server DRAM over chips used in PCs. Samsung is looking to improve its profit margins with a differentiated product portfolio.

The Display Panel segment faced a challenging quarter due to seasonally soft demand from set makers. However the introduction of new devices and increased shipments of smartphone display panels, prevented steeper losses.