SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday its operating profit for the latest quarter rose more than 53% from the same period last year as it continued to thrive during the pandemic while leveraging its dual strength in parts and finished products.

Samsung’s operating profit of 13.9 trillion won ($11.6 billion) for the October-December period was its highest for a fourth quarter since 2017, growth the company attributed to strong demand for its computer memory chips and contract manufacturing of chips.

Samsung’s 76.6 trillion won ($63.7 billion) revenue for the period was a quarterly record, which it said was mainly due to increased sales of finished products, including smartphones , televisions and appliances.

The company has consistently posted strong profits since the pandemic emerged, with demand for its chips used in computers and servers and its household electronics surging as COVID-19 forced millions of people to work from home.

Samsung said in a statement that it will ramp up production of key components in 2022 as it anticipates a broader global recovery in demand for technology products. But the company also said “challenges related to supply issues and COVID-19 are likely to persist.”

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Samsung said demand for its memory chips used in servers is likely to continue to grow in 2022 due to increased investment in information technology, the release of new computer processors and the expansion of devices. 5G-enabled mobiles.

While Samsung has established itself as the dominant player in memory chips used to store data in smartphones, it is also trying to expand its presence in the “foundry” market, i.e. manufacturing under contract chips designed by other companies. This market is driven by higher-margin logic chips designed to perform a variety of functions, and Samsung expects demand for these chips to increase in the coming years, driven by emerging technologies such as mobile communications. 5G, artificial intelligence and self-driving cars.

For its foundry business, Samsung expected supply to remain “tight” in 2022 due to the expansion of 5G services, strong demand for high-performance computing and increasing outsourcing by hardware manufacturers. devices.

Samsung announced plans in November to build a $17 billion semiconductor factory outside Austin, Texas, which it says will increase its production of high-tech chips and also improve the resilience of the supply chain.

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