January 31, 2019 – Samsung has today announced its financial results for Q4 and FY 2018. Overall, the company reported an increase in sales of 1.75% to KRW243.77 trillion, compared to 2017’s total of KRW239.58 trillion.
EBITDA margin was up by 3% on the previous year to 34% for 2018.
Q4 of 2018 saw sales fall compared with Q3, down by 9.46% to KRW59.27 trillion, down from KRW65.46 in Q3. Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications (IM) and Device Solutions (DS) business units were the main contributing factors for this decrease. The only division to see an increase in sales in Q4 was the Consumer Electronics (CE) business, which saw an increase of 15.82% compared with Q3.
In terms of 2018’s divisional breakdown of sales, the IM division, which is responsible for Samsung’s VR offering, reported total sales of KRW100.68 trillion*. This represents a year on year decrease of KRW5.99 trillion (5.62%), coupled with a fall in operating profit of KRW1.66 trillion (14.03%) compared with 2017. The company attributed this slump in sales and operating profit to a dip in sales caused by “weak smartphone shipments amid a stagnant market”.
Conversely, Samsung’s DS business unit recorded another consecutive year of impressive sales increases of 9.61% compared with the previous year, bringing 2018’s sales figures for the division to KRW118.57 trillion*. Of these sales figures, the Semiconductor sub-division accounted for 95.81%. Operating profit for the DS division was also up, by KRW6.19 trillion (15.35%), to KRW46.52 trillion, making the division the company’s most profitable for another year running.
Looking forward, Samsung has stated that it aims to lift sales within its IM division, by introducing new designs and diversifying lines for its flagship models, as well as strengthening hardware specifications and reorganising lineups for its mid-range and below products.
The company has also said that it is aiming to “boost technological leadership by launching 5G and foldable models”. What a foldable smartphone will do for the VR, AR and MR markets is yet to be seen, however, one can be fairly certain that with new smartphone technology will come new applications and innovations for all three.
Within the DS division, Samsung has stated that in 2019 it will aim to shift towards higher capacity memory chips, as well as expand its image sensor lineup. As with the above, improved image sensor technology can only be beneficial to the VR, AR and MR markets.
A company press release stated that for 2019, “Samsung is offering new product innovations this year including foldable smartphones and MicroLED TVs. In AI, an enhanced Bixby will enable greater connectivity and build an AI-powered services platform to support more devices and applications. In 5G, Samsung is set to bolster its position in the market by providing solutions across network equipment, devices and chipsets.”
*figures include inter-segment sales
Image credit: Samsung