Samsung Electronics Co. spent record-high 20.19 trillion won ($16.6 billion) in research and development last year, although it performed at its worst in four years due to sluggish chip business.
The South Korean tech titan said Wednesday that its R&D expenditure in 2019 totaled 20.19 trillion won, up 8.3 percent from 18.65 trillion won in the previous year.
It increased its R&D spending even when its operating profit fell 52.8 percent on year to 27.76 trillion won and sales 5.5 percent to 230.4 trillion won in 2019. The ratio of its R&D investment against total revenue gained 1.1 percentage points to 8.8 percent.
The spending mostly went to new-growth businesses such as system chips and quantum-dot display.
The company announced in April 2019 that it will invest 133 trillion won by 2030 to become the world’s top system chip provider. Its investment paid off when it successfully developed the 3-nanometer chip producing technology for the first time in the industry in January.
It announced last October that it will invest 13 trillion won to expand display production at its Tangjeong plant in Asan, with 3.1 trillion won going to development of next-generation technology.
In 2018, the company said it will spend 180 trillion won over the next three years to strengthen its four new businesses including artificial intelligence, 5G network, bio and automotive electronics components.
Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics said it paid 8.69 trillion won in corporate tax last year, down 48.3 percent from the previous year due to the weak earnings. The figure accounted for 3.8 percent of its revenue, down from 6.9 percent in 2018.
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