Samsung and LG Slowdown

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are set to announce falling sales of home appliances and TVs in the second quarter as people have been spending more time outside rather than staying home,
“Demand for home appliances and TVs continued to slow down in the second quarter, as the global economic downturn and inflation intensified. This is expected to have adversely affected the profitability of product makers,” an official from a local home appliance company said on condition of anonymity.

“Home appliance makers focused on selling premium models and new models during the second quarter due to the expected drop in demand in the market. They also have started to enhance profitability by expanding the global market for their products,” another industry official said, asking not to be named.

The two home appliance makers will announce their preliminary earnings for the April-June period on July 7. According to the consensus among local brokerage houses, Samsung is expected to announce sales of 77.22 trillion won ($59.46 billion) and 14.79 trillion won in operating profit in the second quarter, up 21 percent and 18 percent, respectively, from a year ago.

Though the figures have improved from the same period in 2021, the numbers are lower than the forecast made in May. At that time, the consensus showed Samsung would post 78.68 trillion won in sales and 15.29 trillion won in operating profit.

“Samsung Electronics’ second-quarter earnings are expected to fall below expectations due to a decrease in demand for set businesses such as smartphones, TVs and home appliances,” Kim Dong-won, a researcher at KB Securities, said.

“Considering macro-economic uncertainties such as inflation, disruption of parts supply chains and the Russia issue, it is unlikely that demand for smartphones and PCs will be offset by demand for memory in servers and displays for iPhones alone,” the researcher added.

Market consensus also showed that LG Electronics, where home appliances account for a larger portion of sales than Samsung, is expected to post 19.39 trillion won in sales and 866.4 billion won in operating profit. The latter figure is a sharp drop from the second quarter of 2021 when it posted 1.11 trillion won in operating profit.

The KB Securities researcher said that LG’s second-quarter operating profit is expected to decrease, but the company’s Vehicle component Solutions Division will offset the falling earnings as the division, which mainly sells infotainment systems for vehicles, is expected to shift a surplus.

Samsung Reshuffle

Samsung said on Tuesday it will merge its mobile and consumer electronics divisions and named new co-CEOs in its biggest reshuffle since 2017, to simplify its structure and focus on growing its logic chip business. The sweeping move is the latest sign of centralised change at the world’s largest memory chip and smartphone maker, after Vice Chairman Jay Y Lee was paroled in August from a bribery conviction.

The head of visual display business, Han Jong-hee, was promoted to vice chairman and co-CEO, and will lead the newly merged division spanning mobile and consumer electronics as well as continuing to lead the TV business. Han has risen through the ranks in Samsung’s visual display business, without experience in mobile. Analysts said it was unclear what kind of changes or divisions of labour are expected under Han.

Samsung &LG new products

South Korea’s two tech giants — Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. — on Friday said they will release new home appliance products in Europe to boost sales in the region amid the pandemic.

Samsung said it will begin launching a new laundry appliance with upgraded artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and a new refrigerator highlighting customization features in major European markets, such as Britain, France and Germany, late this month.

The WW9800T washer cuts washing time by up to 50 percent and energy usage by 20 percent compared with its previous models, according to Samsung. Its latest washing machine also comes with EcoBubble technology, which maximizes the effectiveness of detergent by turning it into soft bubbles and allows for faster penetration into fabrics, Samsung said.

With its AI Control technology, Samsung said its new washer can automatically suggest the optimal wash cycle.

“AI Control eliminates the need for users to scroll through cycles to find the right one, or to input their individualized settings each time,” it said. “The AI Wash feature uses sensors to detect the laundry load’s weight and soilage, to determine the optimal amount of water and detergent to dispense.”

Samsung’s new RB7300 refrigerator will make its debut in Europe. The bottom-mount freezer (BMF) refrigerator boasts thinner interior walls, offering a larger internal capacity of 385 liters, 18 liters larger than the previous model, the company said.

Samsung’s Bespoke refrigerator range will also make its first appearance for European consumers. The product will be first sold in Nordic countries in October and will be available in other European nations over the next year.

The Bespoke refrigerator is built under the company’s Project Prism, which aims to reflect consumers’ lifestyles and allows them to personalize the materials, colors, shapes and designs of the products. The refrigerator has already been launched in other nations, including South Korea and China.

Samsung said its latest refrigerators and laundry lineup will be further explained at its “Life Unstoppable” virtual event Wednesday. The company will host the online event as a replacement for IFA 2020, Europe’s largest tech expo, which it decided to skip due to the pandemic.

LG said three new refrigerator models highlighting better hygienic and AI features will hit the shelves in Europe. Starting with Sweden next month, the refrigerators will be launched in more than 20 European countries by the first half of the next year, according to the company.

LG said its InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator with UVnano utilizes ultraviolet LED light technology and can disinfect the water dispenser outlets once every hour to remove up to 99.9 percent of bacteria and germs.

The 569-liter refrigerator is also equipped with advanced technologies that can minimize temperature fluctuations and make entire fridge space cooler by distributing airflow from strategically placed vents, LG said. Its ice maker located in the freezer drawer can produce two-inch spherical ice balls.

LG’s updated Fridge and Freezer pair is comprised of a 386-liter fridge and a 324-liter freezer. They can be purchased separately, but consumers can buy both of them and connect them to look like a single refrigerator.

“They are designed to fit easily into standard kitchen cabinetry for a clean, minimalist look,” LG said. “Their flat door design and zero-clearance hinges are ideal for installing right next to a wall for a seamless, built-in appearance.”

Its latest InstaView ThinQ refrigerator boasts a consumer-centric AI platform, LG said.

Any food item placed inside or removed from the refrigerator is automatically tracked via its advanced vision recognition technology, LG said. The company’s AI technology also allows the refrigerator to offer meal suggestions after analyzing food items in the fridge and even inform other home appliances what to do.

“It can set a connected oven to the right cooking temperature based on the recipe and even choose the optimal wash cycle for the dishwasher based on the meal,” LG said.