AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi
South Korean tech giants Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics logged their largest-ever quarterly earnings in the third quarter of 2021.
Their achievement is largely owing to the continued consumption in the semiconductor and consumer electronics sector under the pandemic. Thanks to the boom in memory chips, mainly DRAMs, Samsung Electronics surpassed the 70 trillion won mark in quarterly sales for the first time. LG Electronics surpassed the 18 trillion won mark for the first time in quarterly sales thanks to brisk sales of home appliances and TVs.
Samsung Electronics announced Thursday that its total consolidated revenue was a quarterly record of 73.98 trillion won, a 10.48 percent increase from a year earlier. Its operating profit increased 28.04 percent from a year earlier to 15.82 trillion won.
The operating profit of nearly 16 trillion won was the second largest after the third quarter of 2018 when the semiconductor market enjoyed a super-cycle.
The remarkable result is led by DRAM, which set a new record for quarterly bit shipments and the second-highest revenue. The semiconductor business posted 10.06 trillion won in operating profit in the third quarter, which accounts to 64 percent of the tech giant’s total operating profit in the third quarter.
Revenue for its mobile business declined compared to the same quarter last year, despite the popularity of its foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3. The operating profit of the mobile business in the third quarter was 3.36 trillion won, down 24 percent from the same quarter last year.
The consumer electronics division’s quarterly operating profit shrunk by half from the same period last year due to shortage of raw materials and increased logistics costs.
Samsung said it is difficult to provide specific guidance for next year due to macroeconomic uncertainties. “However, demand for servers is expected to be robust as major IT companies continue increasing their investments, and we plan to actively respond to this,” the company said.
LG Electronics logged record-high revenue in the third quarter thanks to strong sales of premium home appliances, such as LG Object Collection and OLED TVs.
The tech giant posted 18.78 trillion won in sales, up 22 percent from the same quarter last year.
However, the Q3 operating profit stood at 540.7 billion won, a 49.6 percent decline, due to the loss from recalls of GM’s EV Bolt for which LG Electronics had to spend around 480 billion won to take responsibility for the defects in battery modules it assembled for the vehicles.
The home appliance unit accounted for 7.6 trillion won, up 14.7 percent from Q3 last year. The unit surpassed the 7 trillion won mark in quarterly sales as first among LG units. LG’s TV unit posted 4.18 trillion won in sales, up 13.9 percent from a year earlier.
“Demand for premium products increased in the global market,” LG Electronics said. “In particular, shipments for OLED TVs have doubled compared to the same quarter last year.”