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Samsung sets goal of doubling sales by 2010

The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse
November 3, 2005

Samsung Electronics set a series of ambitious goals on Thursday, including more than doubling its sales and becoming No. 1 in global market share in 20 products by 2010, top executives said.

"We hope to become one of the top three electronics companies in the global market by the end of 2010 and to double the revenue we posted last year," the vice chairman and chief executive, Yun Jong Yong, said.

Samsung, the world's largest maker of memory chips and a top producer of consumer electronics including flat-screen televisions, mobile phone handsets, MP3 players and laptop computers, recorded sales of 78.9 trillion won, or $76 billion, in 2004. Its sales have increased an average of 18 percent every year since 2000.

Yun detailed Samsung's mid- to long-term plans at the company's first annual conference in Seoul, which brought together about 300 analysts from around the world.

Yun said the engines of Samsung Electronics' growth would be large-storage memory chips, next-generation displays, next-generation mobile telecommunications, digital TVs, next-generation printers, system LSIs, next-generation mass storage and air control systems.

It set a target of $61 billion in revenue from its semiconductor business by 2012 and $20 billion from the liquid crystal display division.

It also aims to become the world's third-largest patent holder by 2007. The company ranked sixth last year, with 1,604 patent rights.

Samsung has emerged as a first-rank technology company with global name recognition on the strength of products like its sleek flat-screen televisions and gadget-laden mobile phones.

Executives like Hwang Chang Gyu, president of its semiconductor business, are in frequent contact with other technology industry leaders like Steve Jobs of Apple Computer and Bill Gates of Microsoft.

Still, amid its rise, the company has suffered from some negative publicity, including a price-fixing fine of $300 million levied recently in the United States over accusations that it had secretly conspired with industry rivals to fix chip prices and cheat customers.

Besides being South Korea's largest company in terms of market capitalization and sales, Samsung is the world's second-biggest semiconductor maker, after Intel, and vies with its domestic rival LG.Philips LCD for the top spot among manufacturers of liquid crystal displays.

One of the secrets to Samsung's emergence as a top technology company has been its emphasis on research and development even during tough times, like the 2001 collapse in semiconductor prices and other downturns.

In September, the company announced an ambitious seven-year, $33 billion capital investment plan that it expects will create 14,000 jobs in South Korea.

"As of last year we had 26,000 R&D researchers," Lee Yoon Woo, the Samsung chief technology officer, said on Thursday. "We plan to increase that to 52,000 by 2010."