Samsung may not have had a good second half of 2016, but the first figures released for 2017 indicate that the worst (hint: something explodey) is likely behind it.
The South Korean conglomerate posted profits of $8.7 billion on revenues of $44.7 billion for the first quarter of the year. That’s not only its highest profits for any Q1 to date but also its second best quarter ever.
Driving Samsung’s growth in the first quarter was the components market, which has long surpassed its smartphone business. Including its displays and semiconductor business. Both likely benefited from the much-anticipated launch of the Galaxy S8/S8+ flagships.
Semiconductor Business With The Lion’s Share
The semiconductor business, in particular, was the highlight, recording operating profits of $5.5 billion in the quarter. The momentum is expected to continue in the future, thanks to a “solid demand for high-density DRAM and SSDs in the server market, increased shipments of 10nm AP, and sustained strong demand for image sensors and DDI.”
The display panel segment trailed both the mobile and semiconductor businesses, raking in $1.1 billion in sales, backed by the demand for flexible OLEDs as well as cost reductions for LCDs.
Consumer electronics segment also brought in almost $9.1 billion in sales, which is said to be boosted by the launch of Samsung’s incredible new QLED TVs as well as the seasonal demand in air conditioners.
Smartphone Sales Down
The smartphone business, on the other hand, shrunk a little as users waited for the launch of the flagship phones. The figure of $1.84 billion was down by almost 50% compared to last year, credited towards mishandling the Note 7 debacle.
While the S8 wasn’t launched in the quarter, the majority of the sales were driven by other mid to low-end smartphone series, including the A-series and J-series. The S8 might have still helped with its record number in pre-ordering since its launch.
Future avenues of growth are indicated to be IoT, AI and automotive sector, particularly for the semiconductor business.