Samsung Group's battery-making unit Samsung SDI posted a profitable quarter for the first time in years as part of its consolidated financial report for Q4 2017. The company's operating profit amounted to over $110 million in the three-month period ending December 31st, with that figure being generated based on a turnover of approximately $1.73 billion. Samsung SDI's Q4 2017 results also boosted its overall annual performance, with the firm recording $5.9 billion in sales with just over $109 million in operating income for the full year. While its profit margin is still relatively thin, it's largely seen as a positive sign by investors. Samsung SDI spent the last 36 months posting minimal losses as it tried to improve the performance of not just its core battery business but also its material operations. The firm is expecting to maintain its current momentum throughout 2018 and will attempt to build on it. The tech giant projected balanced growth across all of its businesses over the first quarter of the current year and is particularly optimistic about its small batteries due to the influx of new handsets planned to be commercialized in March.
Samsung SDI's return to the black may have been quicker if not for the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco in the summer of 2016. While the firm wasn't the only battery supplier for the discontinued phablet which proved to be a fire hazard because of its overall design and not the cells powering it, the ordeal significantly impacted its bottom line in the following quarters, many industry analysts believe. Its latest achievement was largely prompted by a 43.3 percent yearly increase in sales recorded in the final quarter of the year. Samsung SDI's best performers in the final quarter of 2017 were its large and medium-sized batteries, most of which ended up in cars across Europe, as per the company's financials. Its small cells are also gaining traction, partially due to the general technological advancements in regards to polymer batteries used in contemporary (Android) smartphones.
Samsung as a whole is still posting record profits and should detail another extremely lucrative quarter in the coming days once it publishes its Q4 2017 financials. Its performance may decline in the medium term due to a drop-off in the global demand for memory chips, the same product category that propelled its business in recent quarters.