Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co., Asia’s largest consumer-electronics company, reported higher fourth- quarter profit as surging phone sales offset declining earnings at its panel business.
Net income was 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), compared with 3.42 trillion won a year ago, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said in a statement today. The average of 28 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 3.99 trillion won. Sales rose 13 percent to 47.3 trillion won, in line with a preliminary estimate announced Jan. 6.
Galaxy smartphones helped the company’s mobile-phone sales surpass a record 300 million units last year amid competition with Apple Inc. Samsung, whose parent group is planning a record investment this year, is introducing more phones and tablet computers to cushion slumping profits at its liquid-crystal panel business.
“They pulled off decent earnings at a time when the macroeconomic situation isn’t so good, thanks to healthy smartphone sales,” Kang Jeong Won, a Seoul-based analyst at Daishin Securities Co., said before today’s announcement. “The key now is whether the strong performance in smartphones can continue in 2012.”
--Editors: Anand Krishnamoorthy, Michael Tighe
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