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DRAM, Samsung, these profits are on fire, NAND ain't that the truth

86 per cent leap attributed to memory chip biz

By Kat Hall

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Korean tech titan Samsung has posted bumper annual results on the back of high memory chip demand, with yearly operating profit up 83 per cent to 53.7 trillion won (£35.4bn).

Semiconductors were the main driver of growth, accounting for two-thirds of its operating profit of 35.2 trillion won, according to figures emitted on Tuesday. The biz said it expected DRAM and NAND flash chip shipments to increase by about 20 percent and 40 percent in 2018.

Overall sales increased 19 per cent to 239.6 trillion won (£158bn).

Yesterday the firm launched its ambitious supercharged NAND Z-SSD in competition with Intel's P4800X Optane drive.

The biz said it plans to pursue high-density memory products for cloud servers and chipsets required for automotive electronics and AI as demand in those areas is expected to increase.

Operating profit at the mobile division was down marginally in the fourth quarter year-on-year from 2.5 trillion won to 2.4 trillion (£1.6bn).

Sammy said: "Total smartphone shipments decreased due to the lineup optimization of low-end models, while shipments of flagship products, such as the Galaxy Note 8, increased from the previous quarter. In the network business, customers' LTE investments concentrated in the first half, resulting in the weak earnings in the second half."

The firm said it hopes to boost business this year by increasing premium products sales. No doubt it hopes the forthcoming Galaxy S9 launch will help.

"The Networks Business plans to expand the supply of network solutions for 5G commercialization to major markets including Korea, the US, and Japan," it said.

The firm has struggled to regain its reputation after a number of its Galaxy Note 7 phones caught fire in 2016.

This week Samsung boss Lee Jae-yong is expected to hear an appeal verdict after being sentenced to five years in prison for bribing South Korea's former president Park Geun-hye. ®

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