South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group, which includes Samsung Electronics Co, said on Tuesday it would raise its 2012 investment to a record 47.8 trillion won ($41.4 billion) as it seeks to consolidate its leading position in mobile chips and flat screens.
Samsung, South Korea's biggest business group, did not provide a breakdown of detailed investment, but analysts have widely expected it to raise investment in mobile chips and next-generation OLED (organic light emitting diode) flat-screen displays.
Samsung Electronics, which makes mobile processors to power Apple's iPhone and iPad as well as its own Galaxy line of mobile products. Its display unit, Samsung Mobile Display, is also a near monopolistic supplier of OLED displays, which are mainly used in high-end mobile gadgets and are set to become dominant TV screens to replace LCD.
OLED display revenues are expected to exceed $20 billion by 2018 to account for 16 percent of the total display industry, up from the current 4 percent, according to research firm DisplaySearch.
Of the total investment for 2012, capital spending will amount to 31 trillion won, up 11 percent from a year ago, Samsung said in a statement.
The record spending, which is up 12 percent from last year's 42.8 trillion won, comes as its key home rival, LG Group, which owns LG Electronics Inc and LG Display, cuts its 2012 investment by some $3 billion amid uncertain global business outlook.
Samsung is South Korea's biggest business conglomerate and has around 80 companies. Its total revenues account for some 20 percent of South Korea's annual gross domestic product valued at 1,200 trillion won. ($1 = 1154.8000 Korean won)
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner and Ken Wills)