March 20, 1999 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Electronics Announces 1998 Business Performance at Annual General Shareholders

Seoul, South Korea - March 20, 1999 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. opened its 30th Annual General Shareholders' Meeting on March 20. In attendance were over 600 domestic and foreign shareholders, investors and company executives.

With Samsung Electronics Board of Directors (BOD) Chairman Jong-yong Yun presiding, the auditor's report and the company's 1998 performance were announced. According to the 1998 business performance report, Samsung Electronics did very well in spite of the adverse business conditions following Korea's bailout by the IMF. The company achieved USD16.64 billion (W20.08 trillion) in total sales, which is the fifth consecutive year that it has been the top in sales among all Korean manufacturers. The company also enjoyed USD259.50 million (W313.22 billion) in net profits, a 153.6% increase over 1997.

The impressive profit figures can be attributed to highly successful management reform, which include business restructuring, debt reduction and other improvements in internal efficiency. Also, profits greatly increased as a result of a surge in exports and stabilized prices for information and communications related products such as semiconductors, TFT-LCDs, CDMA systems and wireless handsets.

Exports to emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, Latin America and the CIS were slow in 1998. In spite of this, overall exports by Samsung Electronics came to USD11.26 billion (W13.59 trillion), approximately 30% higher than in 1997. On the other hand, the sluggish Korean economy brought 1998 domestic sales down to USD5.38 billion (W6.49 trillion), around 19% lower than during the previous term.

An important indicator of fiscal soundness is the debt-to-equity ratio. Samsung Electronics has been addressing this issue effectively through ongoing restructuring. At the end of 1997, the DE ratio was 296% (W17.24 trillion in debts, W5.83 trillion in assets), but a year later that figure had been reduced by 98% to reach 198% (W13.81 trkillion in debts, W6.97 trillion in assets).

In his address, BOD Chairman Yun declared that Samsung Electronics will strive to be an industry leader in the 21st century. He said that all employees were committed to the following goals: securing resources for next-generation technology and future-oriented business areas; focusing on semiconductors, information and communications, and digital products; bringing all overseas subsidiaries into the black in 1999; and building a new business foundation based on greater brand and marketing strength.

Samsung Electronics also addressed the issue of minority shareholder rights at the General Shareholders' Meeting. In order to strengthen these rights and to increase operational transparency, amendments were made to the Article of Incorporation. These resolutions are seen as an opportunity to create a new corporate culture that allows for greater operational transparency and greater respect for minority shareholders.

In addition, as a return for shareholders' investment, Samsung has set cash dividend rates at 12% and 13% for common and preferred stock, respectively.

During this year's General Shareholders' Meeting, company representatives and representatives of citizens' groups for minority shareholders freely discussed these issues. The company devoted maximum time to explaining measures for protecting minority shareholders, and company representatives were ready to respond sincerely to all questions.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., with 1998 sales revenue of about 16.6 billion dollars (US), is a world leader in the electronics industry. The Korea-based firm has operations in more than 50 countries with 60,000 employees worldwide. The company consists of three main business units: Multimedia & Home Appliances, Semiconductors and Information & Telecommunications. For more information, please visit our website,

.Conversion Rate: USD1 = W1,207

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