Samsung set expectations when it announced its earnings estimates earlier this month, and today the company delivered. It announced consolidated operating profit of 8.84 trillion won (approximately $8.27 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2012 — on 56.06 trillion won (roughly $52.45 billion) in revenue. The numbers slightly outpace Samsung's estimates of 56 trillion won in revenue and 8.8 trillion won in profit. The profit represents an increase of 10 percent over the previous quarter — and a staggering 89.3 percent increase over the same time last year. The operating profit for 2012 overall came in at 29.05 trillion won ($27.18 billion) on revenue of 201.10 trillion won ($188.14 billion).
Unsurprisingly, Samsung's mobile business played an integral role in its financial performance. Samsung Mobile Communications grew 4 percent over the previous quarter; the company cited the robust sales of the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II as the key drivers in its smartphone performance.
The company's semiconductor division also posted impressive numbers, with Samsung's logic chip unit alone posting a 39 percent increase in operating profit from the previous quarter — taking it to 1.42 trillion won ($1.33 billion). While some have considered televisions to be a sector of consumer electronics that is facing trouble, Samsung bucked the trend here as well. Its Consumer Electronics Division, which handles displays and TVs, posted an increase in operating profit of 87 percent over the previous quarter.
However, the company did sound a note of caution when looking ahead to 2013. In the earnings call discussing the results, Samsung executives warned that the company expects earnings to fall in the first quarter of 2013 due to seasonality. It also anticipates being affected by the "dynamic shift" that is underway in the IT industry — with traditional products like computers facing declining interest as the trend towards mobile products continues.