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It’s no secret that Samsung had a pretty great 2012. The Korean manufacturer dominated the high-end smartphone market with its best selling Galaxy S III, and its Galaxy S range recently passed the 100-million sales mark. Now the financials are out: the company announced today that it made 29.05-trillion South Korean Won (around US$27-billion) in operating profit last year.
The last three months of the year were just as good to the company: it made 8.84-trillion Won (approximately US$8-billion) in consolidated operating profit in the fourth quarter, up 10% from the previous period and in line with its expectations. Samsung’s IT and mobile division pulled in 5.44-trillion Won (US$5-billion) in operating profit, and increased its total revenue by 4% from the previous quarter.
The growth has been driven largely by the seemingly never-ending popularity of the S III, as well as the increasing love consumers feel for the giant Note II. The most recent official figures suggest the phablet has sold more than five-million units — which seems small against the S III’s numbers (Samsung sold 30-million phones in the first 157 days after its launch), but it’s still an impressive milestone.
Lest we forget, Samsung also pumps out a variety of other electronics, from washing machines to fridges. Samsung says its LED TVs (both the premium models and the ones tailored for emerging markets), also played a significant role in improving the quarterly results. Its display panel segment is struggling, as demand for IT panels for notebooks and monitors remained slow, but its semiconductor businesses are still profiting, as revenues in the division increased by 10%. Interestingly, the demand for panels for TVs and tablets in the developed world seems to be slowing, but Samsung says China and other emerging markets are becoming bigger customers.