Samsung is pursuing aggressive plans for the coming year after posting strong fourth quarter 2003 results.
The electronics group, which sparked protests recently when it closed down its UK-based manufacturing plant with the loss of 400 jobs, revealed a 14.4 per cent increase in turnover to 12.89 trillion South Korean won (£8.1bn), with net profit standing at 1.8 trillion won.
Samsung's success prompted speculation that the vendor is primed to replace Intel as the largest buyer of chip-production equipment this year.
Intel posted Q4 2003 turnover of $8.7bn, a rise of 22 per cent year on year. Profit stood at $2.2bn, up 107 per cent.
Craig Barrett, chief executive of Intel, said: "We ended the year on a high note as ongoing strength in emerging markets, coupled with improving demand in established markets, drove revenue to record levels."
Derek Lidow, chief executive of analyst iSuppli, said Samsung was well placed to compete with Intel in some sectors.
"Samsung is very aggressive in investing in some areas. For example, see how quickly it overtook Intel in the Flash market," he said.
"However, because it switched its capacity from DRam to Flash, it now needs to grow its DRam production significantly to compete with Intel on that front."
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