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Samsung looks to advance in growth and acquisitions after a difficult 2014
It’s no secret that Samsung’s mobile division struggled throughout 2014. From selling 40% fewer Galaxy S5 handsets than anticipated to swapping out dozens of mobile division executives last year, the Korean tech giant knows they have a lot of work to do in 2015 and beyond. And according to an interview with a certain Samsung exec, the company may have a pretty good plan to do so.
Just in this past year, Samsung has lost its spot for the top position in China to Xiaomi in the lower-end market, and has also felt the heat from Apple in the high-end market. Moreover, Samsung’s profits declined for the first time in three years in 2014. Even though Korean companies are notoriously more frugal when it comes to dividends, that didn’t stop the company from giving investors a massive 40% dividend boost and its first share repurchase since 2007. But now, the company plans to steer its $56 billion cash reserves toward arguably more important avenues, including mergers, acquisitions and overall company growth.
Robert Yi, head of investor relations at Samsung, told Reuters:
Dividends and other forms of shareholder returns are responsibilities that the company has for shareholders, so we will make efforts to meet them. But our primary objective is growth and that is what we are communicating to our shareholders.
In the past year or so, Samsung hasn’t made developments on any major mergers or acquisitions, which disappoints investors in the long run. It seems as though the company would like to change that mindset, Yi says:
We are primarily focused on M&A deals for companies that would be good fits to Samsung’s current businesses, and we believe that know-how and experience accrued from such transactions will make bigger M&A deals possible going forward.
Many crucial changes have been made in hopes to return major growth to the company. Among the ‘Project Zero‘ initiative with its upcoming Galaxy S6 and creating original smartphones like the Galaxy Note Edge, it seems as though the company is on the right track. Samsung has made a ton of sacrifices this past year, and hopefully cutting back on investor relations, among other changes, will become a vital move for the company.