Samsung Electronics Co. reported better-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter. The company posted its largest profit in nearly two years, which it claims was mainly bolstered by the rebound in sales of its smartphones and memory chips following the global lockdowns.
The South Korean company said that the shift to working and studying from home globally had resulted in a surge in demand for its products over the last quarter. Other tech companies, including Microsoft and Sony Corp, had also reported increased profits over the same period as demand for cloud-computing services and electronics rebounded.
For its latest quarter ended September, Samsung reported a net profit of 9.36 trillion won ($8.24 billion). This represented a 49% increase compared to its profits over the same period last year. Revenue also grew by about 8% to 66.96 trillion won for the quarter. The company's performance for the period beat average analysts' expectations of around 9 trillion won in profits and 64.8 trillion won in revenue.
Samsung's semiconductors business also pushed it high up into the green for the period with it reporting an 81% increase in profits. The unit pulled in 3.05 trillion won over the three months. Meanwhile, profits generated by its mobile division rose by 52% for the period, bringing in 4.45 trillion won.
At its earnings call Thursday, Samsung said that key products, particularly its smartphone portfolio, remained strong throughout the three-month period. It credited the consumers' pent-up demand and the rollout of 5G for the increase in sales. Executives warned that there may still be some challenges ahead due to the resurgence of the coronavirus and competition could be fierce during the upcoming holiday season.
"There's still a possibility that with the increase of COVID-19 cases in key markets, such as the U.S. and Europe, some of these countries may go back into lockdown. This may lead to economic contraction globally on a long-term basis," the company's vice president of its visual display unit, Kim Won-hee, told analysts.
Concerns over the company's future have also been recently put into question following the death of its chairperson Lee Kun-hee over the weekend. Lee's son, Lee Jae-yong, is expected to take over the reins of the company.
Samsung is also facing stiff competition abroad, particularly from its rivals in China. The company had previously been unseated as the world's largest smartphone maker by Huawei Technologies. Samsung intends to reclaim the top spot, which it might be able to achieve given Huawei's issues with the U.S.