Samsung Electronics announced preliminary first-quarter earnings on Tuesday with sales totaling W53 trillion and operating profit W8.4 trillion (US$1=W1,052).
Sales were up slightly compared to the same period of 2013 (W52.9 trillion), while operating profit shrank 4.3 percent. But operating profit was up 1.1 percent compared to the previous quarter’s poor results.
The earnings largely met forecasts by analysts.
By division, the mobile business achieved an operating profit of W6 trillion, similar to a year ago. Smartphone sales totaled around 90 million units, setting a new record. Semiconductor and TV sales also boomed.
The latest results confirm that the global smartphone market is approaching saturation and the explosive growth seen two to three years ago cannot be expected any longer.
But analysts said that although Samsung's explosive growth phase is over, the electronics giant will continue to post quarterly operating profits in the W8 trillion range. This suggests that Samsung and rival Apple have now achieved a stable market share where they account for a combined 97 percent of operating profit in the global smartphone market.
But analysts point out that Samsung remains too dependent on smartphones and could face a crisis if it fails to roll out innovative products.