Total profit for the year reached an all-time high of 29 trillion won (£17.1bn), an increase of 86 per cent on 2011. Profit in Q4 2012 was 8.84 trillion won, an 89 per cent increase on the same time a year earlier, and a surge of 76 per cent over the previous quarter.
Despite selling a record 700,000 smartphones every day in the last quarter, Samsung has already started to reduce planned investment, preparing for a global slowdown in the smartphone market. The company still spent a record 23 trillion won (£13.6bn) last year, but had been on course to spend more. "The key word for us in investment in 2013 is flexibility. We'll decide as the market demand dictates," Robert Yi, head of Samsung's investor relations, told analysts.
The mobile division contributed 62 per cent of Q4 profit, an increase of 7 per cent on the same quarter in 2011. Mobile profit more than doubled in this time to 5.44 trillion won, with strong sales of its Galaxy S2 and S3 smartphones seeing Samsung become the world's biggest smartphone maker.