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Samsung says smartphone sales aren't to blame for reduced Q4 profits

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Samsung Experience Shop
Samsung Experience Shop

As expected, Samsung's profits took a bit of a dip today, reporting a reduced operating profit of 8.3 trillion won (roughly $7.7 billion) on a record 59.28 trillion won ($54.95 billion) of revenue. That's an 18 percent profit decline since last quarter. However, according to Samsung, the dip wasn't due to weaker smartphone sales: the company says its smartphones sold well and its tablet sales actually doubled thanks to the company's latest additions to the Galaxy Tab lineup.

Currency exchange and employee bonuses largely responsible

Samsung does say that its marketing budget ballooned a bit during the holiday season, but apparently that's not the main reason that profits fell. The company primarily blames a negative currency impact of 700 billion won ($649 million) for the decline, and a one-off expense (reportedly special employee bonuses for the 20th anniversary of the company's "new management" strategy") for 800 billion won ($741 million) more.

Samsung also says that an oversupplied TV panel market hurt its bottom line, even though Samsung's own Smart TVs and 60+ inch TVs did better than before. Combined with appliances, the company's Visual Display and Digital Appliances business made 88 percent more profit than in the previous quarter. On the display panel side, though, Samsung says it's planning to expand its OLED business into mass-market smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices in the future. The company's also working on a bendable TV, a smartphone with a wraparound display, and plans to go "back to basics" with its next flagship Galaxy.