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Earnings

Samsung reports highest Q1 revenue, expects chip rebound in Q2

Apr 29, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Samsung reports highest Q1 revenue, expects chip rebound in Q2

Samsung Electronics Co. has recorded the highest first-quarter revenue figures in the company’s history, thanks to strong performances in its mobile, wearable and consumer electronics segments.

According to the company's announcement on Apr. 29, Samsung’s first-quarter revenue and operating profit marked 65.39 trillion won ($59 billion) and 9.38 trillion won ($8.5 billion), respectively. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, revenue increased by 18.2% and operating profit jumped 45.4%.

Analyst consensus estimates for the company's second-quarter revenue and earnings are 61.85 trillion won ($55.8 billion) and 9.91 trillion won ($8.9 billion), respectively.

“Mobile earnings rose significantly as sales of flagship and mass-market smartphones increased, and contributions of products in the device ecosystem such as tablets, PCs and wearables grew,” said Samsung.

STRONG MOBILE PERFORMANCE IN BOTH PREMIUM & VALUE SEGMENTS

Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications Division maintained strong results in the first quarter, reporting 29.21 trillion won ($26.3 billion) in consolidated revenue and 4.39 trillion won ($3.9 billion) in operating profit.

The company said that its flagship smartphone sales, spearheaded by the Galaxy S21 launch, saw a quarter-over-quarter increase from the fourth quarter of 2020, and mass-market models including Galaxy A series maintained a solid sales performance.

“We will strive to achieve solid profits and strengthen leadership in the premium segment by popularizing the foldable category,” added Samsung.

It further noted that in the second quarter, sales of the newly launched Galaxy A products such as A72 and A52 are expected to soar, while the performance of its tablets, wearables and the newly launched Galaxy Book are projected to remain concrete.

Samsung's Galaxy Book Pro 360 is equipped with an OLED screen
Samsung's Galaxy Book Pro 360 is equipped with an OLED screen


But demand for mobile devices is expected to weaken, said Samsung, due to a seasonal decline for smartphones and persisting effects following the disruption of its US foundry production in the first quarter.

The company also noted that the current chip shortage may continue throughout the second half.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ALSO SOLID AND GROWING

The company’s Consumer Electronics Division, divided into Visual Display and Digital Appliances, during the same period reported 12.99 trillion won ($11.7 billion) in revenue, up 26% from the first quarter of 2020, and 1.12 trillion ($1 billion) in operating profit, up 149%.

Samsung expects demand for its TV lineup to rise further in the second quarter, with major sporting events including the UEFA Euro 2020 and the Summer Olympic Games set to take place.

At the same time, however, the company noted that rising material and logistics costs pose a potential risk to its Consumer Electronics business.

“Samsung will aim to increase profitability by focusing on sales of its Neo QLEDs, responding to strong demand for home entertainment products, and successfully launching its new Micro LED products for home use,” said the company.

Samsung's Neo QLED 8K TV
Samsung's Neo QLED 8K TV

SEMICONDUCTOR EARNINGS SHRINK, BIG REBOUND EXPECTED IN Q2

The company’s semiconductor business in the first quarter posted 19.01 trillion won ($17.1 billion) in consolidated revenue and 3.37 trillion won ($3 billion) in operating profit, down 39.2% from 5.54 trillion ($5 billion) in the first quarter of 2020.

Samsung said that its Memory Business saw an earnings decline due to the downward trend in NAND prices and the rise in costs associated with ramping up new lines, despite overall decent demand backed by the server and mobile products.

The System LSI Business saw an increase in sales of mobile system-on-chips (SoCs) and image sensors backed by launches of flagship and high-end smartphones. But Samsung said earnings in the segment remained mostly flat on the impact of mobile display driver IC (DDI) supply issues caused by the foundry production disruption.

Samsung Exynos Mobile Processor for AI and 5G, designed by the company's System LSI Business
Samsung Exynos Mobile Processor for AI and 5G, designed by the company's System LSI Business

In the second quarter, Samsung eyes improved earnings amid favorable business conditions: “Based on strong, across-the-board demand, DRAM prices are expected to continue the upward trend through the second half of the year.”

The company also highlighted that the expansion of the 5G market will drive DRAM demand, while PC demand will also remain solid as educational laptops enter peak seasonality in the second quarter.

Samsung expects that its 15 nm DRAM and 128-layer 6th generation V-NAND will drive growth and cost competitiveness in the second half of 2021, and it will also be applying extreme ultraviolet (EUV) exposure equipment on its 14 nm DRAM production lines.

At the same time, in the second half, Samsung will be ramping up production of double-stack-based 176-layer 7th generation V-NAND.

“For the second half, market demand is forecast to recover to the pre-COVID level on an annual basis backed by a gradual economic recovery and continued expansion of the 5G market,” said Samsung in a statement.

Write to Jeong-soo Hwang at hjs@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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