Samsung blitzes first quarter

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Samsung blitzes first quarter

Samsung nearly doubled its net income for its first quarter of 2012, posting an 81 percent jump over the same quarter last year to rake in 5 trillion won ($A4.2 billion) after tax.

The company also posted a 22 percent jump in revenue to 45.3 trillion won, as well as an all-time high operating profit of 5.8 trillion won - a 98 percent increase year-on-year.

Samsung’s shares soared 4.7 percent to a five-week high immediately after the results.

Samsung attributed the growth to its IT and mobile communications business, made up of telecommunications, IT solutions, mobiles and digital imaging, which contributed 23 trillion won in revenue.

The two latter segments are at the centre of an ongoing patent war between Samsung and arch rival Apple, in which the latter wants several Samsung products, including the flagship Galaxy S III, banned along with $A2.4 billion in damages, and Samsung is after royalties for patents it alleges Apple has wrongly used.

Samsung noted sales of its Galaxy Note and S III devices also greatly contributed to the division’s profitability.

The mobile division alone recorded an 86 percent jump in revenue, to 19 trillion won. 

Samsung suffered a drop in sales for its semiconductor chips and TVs due to “seasonal factors”. It posted 7.9 trillion won revenue for that division, a 13 percent drop year-on-year.

“Weaker-than-expected off-peak season demand and a global supply crunch of HDDs coupled with low demand for PC DRAM chips and the oversupply of mobile DRAM impacted profit margins, in which the memory portion saw its revenue slip to 4.89 trillion won,” Samsung said in the report. 

“For NAND, spot price remained weak due to sluggish demand compounded by early stage products from geometry migration flowing into the channel market.”

Samsung is gearing up to launch new “high-end” smartphones in the second quarter, as well as new mobile chips based on 32 nanometer-class process technology.

Samsung inching closer to winning the mobile war

In comparison, main rival Apple reported net income of $US8.8 billion for its last quarter. Despite being up $1.5 billion on the year-ago quarter, the results fell short of analyst estimates.  

Apple reported revenue of $35 billion, lower than the expected $37.2 billion. Its shares fell 5 percent in after hours trading immediately following the announcement.

Samsung snatched the mobile crown from market leader Apple in the second quarter, shipping 52.1 million smartphones compared to Apple's 26 million iPhones, according to Juniper Research - a figure again buoyed by the launch of the Galaxy S III smartphone in May. 

The Galaxy S III was launched during a lull in Apple’s product cycle. Apple is expected to reveal its next-generation iPhone in September.

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