Reports emanating out of Korea earlier today suggests that the country’s leading consumer electronics company, Samsung Electronics, will soon be relocating its Europe headquarters from London, UK to Warsaw, Poland. The capital city of the UK has been the European HQ of the South Korean tech giant for quite a while now, and the company has even unveiled some of its flagship Galaxy-branded smartphones in the city. The latest reports meanwhile, cite ‘multiple sources’ with information about the goings-on, one of whom reportedly claimed that a number of units have already moved from the British city to the Polish capital recently, as part of an ongoing restructuring process within the company, and that other divisions will apparently follow suit soon enough. Yet another source is reported to have claimed that, Samsung is quietly cutting jobs in Europe as part of a cost-cutting exercise amidst falling revenues and dwindling sales in the region.
Now whether the relocation is part of a larger cost-saving strategy may yet be unclear, but sections of the Korean media seem to think that the ongoing ‘restructuring process’ suggests that Samsung will, henceforth, spend more of its resources in the emerging Eastern European markets rather than concentrating on Western Europe, which has become a saturated market for smartphones. The company is already struggling in the region, having seen its European sales in the year 2014 fall by as much as 22.7 percent on a year-on-year basis to $37.3 billion, as opposed to revenues of $50.2 billion a year earlier. Of course, it is a whole different matter altogether that the company’s mobile division is struggling worldwide, with stiff competition from Apple’s large-screened devices on the one hand and budget offerings from Chinese and Taiwanese companies on the other.
It bears mentioning here that Samsung already operates an R&D center in Poland, and even has a manufacturing presence in the country since 2009, when it acquired Polish appliance maker Amica. The importance that Poland is getting within the Samsung setup was apparent back in May this year, when the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, Mr. Lee Jae-yong made a trip to the country to visit the company’s facilities there. A spokesperson for Samsung however, has officially denied all media reports, saying the company does not intend to shift its headquarters from the UK at this point in time.