Flexible OLEDs: an expanding business for Samsung Electronics

April 28, 2017 // By Julien Happich
Samsung Electronics has released its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 (KRW 50.55 trillion revenue for the quarter, approximately 40.84 billion euros) a 1.52% increase year-on-year (YoY). In its report, the company notes that profits were driven by the components businesses, namely the semiconductor division and the display panel segment.

The memory business posted significant earnings growth, both YoY and QoQ, led by favorable supply-demand conditions and sales growth of premium high-density enterprise SSDs. The System LSI business improved its earnings on the back of increased sales of application processors for flagship smartphones and greater demand for image sensors and display driver IC (DDI).

The Display Panel segment posted KRW 7.29 trillion (about 5.89 billion euros) in consolidated revenue and KRW 1.30 trillion (over one billion euros) in operating profit for the quarter.

For the display panel business, LCD maintained solid earnings QoQ due to robust sales of large high-resolution panels under favorable ASP conditions. Overall OLED performance improved YoY, due to strong demand, and slightly improved QoQ as a result of increased sales of new flexible products.

Looking into the future, the company says it will focus on fulfilling strong demand for flexible OLED panels, and look to maintain profitability in LCD through enhanced cost reduction. For OLED, revenue is expected to grow YoY due to an increase in the supply of flexible panels in the second half. However, in the mid- to low-end segment, the company anticipates possible competition from LTPS LCDs.  

Looking at the mid- to long-term, the growth of IoT, AI and automotive businesses in the IT industry is expected to drive demand for components, particularly high-performance energy-efficient memory products, SoCs and sensors, as well as flexible OLED panels for new form factors.

Samsung is also eying new business opportunities with developments in cloud, AI and connectivity solutions for smartphones and smart home products and recognizes a need to strengthen its capabilities via strategic investments and M&As.