Samsung Group plans record $41 billion investment in 2012

Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:57pm EST
 
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By Miyoung Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group, which includes Samsung Electronics Co, said on Tuesday it is raising its 2012 investment to a record $41.4 billion, underscoring the widening gulf between the dominant South Korean conglomerate and its faltering competitors.

Best known for making massive investments in new technologies ahead of rivals, Samsung is now banking on logic chips and OLED displays to repeat its roaring success in flash chips, computer memory chips and LCD flat-screens, even as a gloomy global economic and IT spending outlook forces its peers to be conservative in spending.

Samsung Group, South Korea's biggest business group, did not provide a breakdown of the 47.8 trillion won investment. But analysts have widely expected it to raise investment in mobile chips and next-generation OLED (organic light emitting diode) flat-screen displays.

"Samsung's got strong cash flow to make bold bets in new technologies," Lee Sun-tae, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. "No other IT company can beat it in terms of investment and that's how Samsung finds new revenue sources ahead of rivals and widens its gap."

The group also said on Tuesday it would add a record 26,000 employees this year, up from last year's 25,000, at a time when tens of thousands of jobs in the financial industry are being cut globally due to continuing turmoil in markets. Samsung now employs around 350,000 in total.

The investments will be in everything from building factories to research and development activities to doing mergers and acquisitions and hiring.

SYSTEM CHIPS VS MEMORY CHIPS

Of the total investment, capital spending will amount to 31 trillion won, up 11 percent from a year ago, Samsung said in a statement.   Continued...