The global economy is still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is already reeling under the effect of the Russian invasion of Ukraine; Korean companies seem to have overcome all challenges. Korea’s biggest corporates Samsung Electronics & LG Electronics, have posted record-high earnings in 2022. It is predicted that a new history of 300 trillion won in annual sales can be written this year.
Samsung reports a 50% jump in earnings
According to the results of Samsung Electronics‘ preliminary consolidated results for the first quarter released on April 7th, it recorded 77 trillion won ($63 billion) in sales and 14.1 trillion won ($11.6 billion) in operating profits. This is an increase of 17.76% and 50.32%, respectively, from 65.39 trillion won ($53.2 billion) in sales and 9.38 trillion won ($7.5 billion) in operating profit in the first quarter of 2021. In particular, compared to the previous quarter, sales increased 0.56% and operating profit increased by 1.66%.
This is higher than the forecast of the securities market (sales of 75.2 trillion won and operating profit of 13 trillion won). In particular, in the case of sales, after reaching the first 70 trillion won ($56 billion) in the third quarter of last year (73.98 trillion won), it recorded 76.57 trillion won ($60 billion) in the fourth quarter, and it is also the highest streak in a row. The industry believes that the success of the new Galaxy S22 series, improvement of semiconductor performance overcoming the decline in DRAM prices, and targeting of premium products have been effective.
Among experts, many observers predict that the performance will continue to rise thanks to a rebound in memory chip prices such as NAND in the second quarter and DRAM in the third quarter. Some say that it could exceed 300 trillion won ($244 billion) in annual sales for the first time this year and reach a maximum of 340 trillion won ($276 billion).
Home appliances sales drive profit for LG
Meanwhile, LG Electronics also achieved sales of 21.10 trillion won ($17 billion) and an operating profit of 1.88 trillion won ($1.5 billion) in the first quarter of this year, thanks to an increase in sales of premium home appliances. Compared to the first quarter of 2021, sales increased by 18.5% and operating profit by 6.4%. Initially, the market predicted that LG Electronics’ operating profit would drop by 10.5% from the first quarter of last year to 1.35 trillion won due to rising oil prices, global logistics costs, and raw material prices.
It is analyzed that increased sales of home appliances and TVs, centered on premium products, significantly impacted sales. In addition, operating profit also seems to have exceeded market expectations, thanks to a reduction in non-recurring costs (HR costs for restructuring the company’s human resources) and temporary patent profits.
LG Electronics said, “The amount of profit earned by each business division from its actual sales activities is similar to market expectations. Costs are reflected, and ultimately, it is expected that there will be a significant difference from market expectations.” It is estimated that human restructuring costs refer to the cost of severance pay due to voluntary retirement, etc. It also revealed that the provisional operating profit for the first quarter included a temporary increase in patent revenue.
LG Electronics is also expected to continue its strong performance in the second quarter thanks to global supply chain management, business structure efficiency, and cost structure improvement. The financial investment industry expects LG Electronics’ second-quarter sales to be between 17.9 trillion won ($14.5 billion) and 18 trillion won ($14.6 billion) and operating profit between 1.16 trillion won and 1.2 trillion won ($94 billion and $99 billion).