Published: Fri, February 02, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Samsung reports record year profits

Samsung reports record year profits

The firm's largesse has encouraged investors to hold shares despite concerns that the memory business may be peaking. The company is getting entry by manufacturing ASIC chips designed specifically for mining precious bitcoins.

Two thirds of the company's operating profit came from its chip-making business, of which operating profit reached a new yearly high of won35.2 trillion.

Led by a stellar fourth quarter, the global leader in televisions, memory chips and smartphones brought home an annual operating profit of 53.7 trillion won ($50.2 billion/£35.4 billion) in 2017, outstripping the previous record of 36.8 trillion won in 2013.

The chip business was Samsung's top earner previous year.

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Indeed, Samsung said that total smartphone shipments decreased due to the lineup optimisation of low-end models, while shipments of flagship products, such as the Galaxy Note 8, increased from the previous quarter.

Samsung is already working on its 10-nanometer 16Gb GDDR6 DRAM chips. The technology needs powerful chips to validate transactions.

Mining cryptocurrency requires highly energy efficient hardware, which can be made possible with the ASIC chips that Samsung is planning to take to market in the near future.

It is now unclear where Samsung is expected to fit into the expanding cryptocurrency market. The company says that it will expand 64-layer V-NAND production at its Pyeongtaek plant to meet demand.

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Samsung itself joined the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance in May a year ago, and in November announced a five months contract with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to establish an Information Strategy Plan for Blockchain based innovations in Seoul.

Samsung Electronics announced today that its earnings for the October-December 2017 quarter were 66 trillion won or $61.6 billion, a 24 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016.

But seasonal factors impacted growth for the System LSI and Foundry businesses, it said, and profitability for LCD panels.

Samsung spent a record 43.4 trillion won in capital expenditure a year ago to boost production of memory chips and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens.

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