Saved by Screens, Phones

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-04-25 Print this article Print

Samsung's LCD and mobile communications units posted better-than-expected results that easily outweighed the weakness in chips.

The display division posted another strong quarter, fueled by a shortage of flat screens amid surging demand for sleek TVs ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August.

Samsung said a total of 2.74 trillion won would be invested in a new LCD line by Samsung and Japan's Sony.

It also said it would respond "case by case" to Sony's TV price cuts as another round of cuts was seen in the fourth quarter.

Samsung, which trails only Finland's Nokia in the handset market, sold 46.3 million phones in the first quarter, equaling the record number sold in the fourth.

"It depends on how Motorola and Sony Ericsson react to the current situation they are in, but because Samsung is doing fine in both the high-end and mid-price handsets, I believe there won't be any immediate changes in its good performance," said An Sung-ho, an analyst at Hannuri Sec.

Samsung shares rose 12 percent in the first quarter, against the KOSPI's 10 percent loss, on expectations of strong earnings.

(By Marie-France Han and Rhee So-eui, Additional reporting by Mayumi Negishi in TOKYO and Kim Yeon-hee, Miyoung Kim, Cheon Jong-woo, Lee Jiyeon and Park Ju-min in SEOUL; Editing by Keiron Henderson and Jean Yoon)

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