Today Samsung has issued the official earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2012. The numbers are impressive, with consolidated sales reaching approximately 45 trillion Korean won ($39.8 billion).
That’s a bit less than sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 (which were at 47.3 trillion won), but that’s understandable. First off, Q4 is generally the biggest quarter in electronics sales, and second, the last quarter in 2011 was quirky in that it was a week longer than usual. Compared to last year’s Q1, sales are 21% higher, so that’s a clear upward trend.
In terms of operating profit, Samsung is at an all-time high of 5.8 trillion won ($5.13 billion), beating analysts’ estimates by quite a bit. The quarterly profit rose 96.6% compared to the year-ago quarter.
According to ET News, Samsung ended up selling 41 million smartphones during the first quarter, a number which is well in line with what we told you would happen. So that at first crazy-sounding 50 million smartphones sold projection for Q2 becomes more and more plausible by the minute. Especially if the new Galaxy S III will start selling during this quarter, since 10 million units have reportedly already been pre-ordered by carriers and retailers. There still isn’t any official information on Samsung’s next smartphone flagship and its release date, but it has to happen pretty soon in case Samsung wants to break some more records.
So what helped Samsung achieve these results for Q1? Well, Elpida’s bankruptcy certainly made the Korean company increase its lead as the No.1 memory chip maker in the world – since Elpida used to be one of its main competitors.
The semiconductor business was a great performer too, but so was the mobile unit. The Samsung Galaxy Note and the Samsung Galaxy S II have been selling very well and boosting Samsung’s profit margins, while lower-priced devices such as those shipping with Broadcom processors inside were the ones which helped it reach the 41 million number in sales.
If the above paragraphs confuse you, remember that Samsung doesn’t just make phones. It’s a conglomerate that has dealings in many spaces. And while it has spun off its display panel making unit mere days ago, many different divisions still make up the Samsung group. So we don’t have numbers just for the mobile division. Also, don’t expect Samsung to ever officially announce how many smartphones it sold during the quarter, since it hasn’t done that for a few quarters now. And all we’ve had to go on were analysts’ projections for the past year or so. So for Q1, that 41 million number will probably ‘stick’. Unless Samsung decides to surprise us, of course. We’ll see.