Samsung's revenue, profits rise in 4th quarter

The consumer electronics company rides high on sales of semiconductors and smartphones, but declines to get specific about how well its Galaxy Tab is doing.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Samsung enjoyed a strong fourth quarter and a record-setting 2010, the company reported today.

For the three months ended December 31, Samsung generated 41.87 trillion Korean won (about $37.6 billion), representing a 7 percent gain over the same period in 2009. The company tallied a 3.42 trillion won profit on the quarter, up 13 percent from the 3.04 trillion won it secured in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Samsung reiterated earlier reports that its Galaxy S line of smartphones have hit 10 million unit sales, but stopped short of saying how many units of its Galaxy Tab it sold, noting only that the tablet "attracted strong year-end demand." The company had announced in December that it sold 1 million units of the device. A report this week from South Korea news agency Yonhap claims that Samsung has sold 2 million Galaxy Tab units since its launch in the fall. The company has not confirmed that report and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Samsung said that its 2010 revenue was its highest yet, reaching 154.6 trillion won. That figure was up 13 percent over the previous year. Samsung reported that it generated a profit of 16.15 trillion won in 2010, up a staggering 65 percent year-over-year.

The Korean company's semiconductor business, which includes DRAM and NAND chips, saw the biggest sales growth in 2010 with year-over-year gains of 40 percent. Its LCD business saw a 16 percent annual gain. On the profit side, Samsung's semiconductor business enjoyed a 391 percent increase.

Samsung reported that unit sales of its LCDs were up 10 percent in the fourth quarter, but also that LCD prices declined by 12 percent during the period, while displays for notebooks fell by 3 percent.

During the fourth quarter, Samsung sold 80.7 million mobile handsets worldwide, up 17 percent year-over-year. All told, it sold 280 million handsets in 2010.

As Samsung looks ahead to 2011, the company expects to sell 60 million smartphones on the year. The company forecasts that demand for HDTVs will increase by 11 percent in 2011. Samsung also said that it wants to have 1,000 TV apps available to customers by the end of the year. Its marketplace currently has 400 apps available.

Increasing the number of apps in its line of HDTVs might be a smart move for Samsung. The company announced last week that 2 million apps have been downloaded from its sets since the marketplace's launch in early 2010.