Samsung's chip business posted record earnings in Q4 2016

It's the reason the company did well despite the Note 7 scandal.


Samsung expected a 9.2 trillion won ($7.8 billion) operating profit for Q4 2016, but the final figure is slightly larger despite the Note 7 scandal rocking its world last year. According to the Korean conglomerate's full earnings report, it posted a 9.22 trillion won ($7.9 billion) operating profit for October to December 2016. That's 50 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 2015 and its highest in over three years. Samsung says it did well despite pulling the problematic phone from the market because its chip business had a record quarter: its operating profit (KRW 4.95 trillion or $4.25 billion) was up 77 percent from the same period the year before.

The company also attributes its strong quarter to big OLED and large-size UHD panel shipments. Plus, it admits that its numbers were boosted by the weak Korean won, since it transacts in US dollars when it comes to its components business. Samsung's mobile business didn't do that badly, as well, due to the solid sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and the company's non-flagship devices.

The company has big plans for its mobile division in 2017 despite the expected slump in the global smartphone market. It wants to bring high-end features to its more affordable phones and to "strengthen its leadership in the premium market" by releasing its next flagships, the S8 and the Note 8. Since Samsung recently revealed the battery flaws that set a number of Note 7s on fire, we're guessing it's taking steps to ensure the Note 8 doesn't have the same issues.

Samsung will have to deal with less stellar earnings before its new flagships drop, though. It expects its earnings to decline this quarter due to growing marketing expenses for mobile and slow TV sales, since people are still recovering from holiday season shopping.