Samsung local unit's turnover grew 7% in 2021, "which translated into the record year ever in Portugal".
The turnover of Samsung Portugal last year was up 7% on the previous year, to €392.8 million, making for a record year for the brand, said Nuno Parreira, head of the subsidiary’s mobile division.
In 2021 “we reached nearly €400 million, which translated into the record year ever in Portugal,” he said.
The Samsung Portugal turnover for 2021 compared to €365.8 million in 2020.
As for turnover in the mobile communications segment, Parreira declined to provide data.
“I can only give data from Samsung Portugal,” he said, adding that “we have a major position and we also contributed with a record year, that is, our area also had a record year of invoicing” in 2021.
He said that the weight of the mobile segment in Samsung Portugal is “above 50%” and that its mobile phone market share in Portugal is 41%, based on data from consultancy IDC for the third quarter, with “notable growth” from 2020 for “record sales”.
Parreira said that he expected figures from the fourth quarter to indicate a strengthening of Samsung’s mobile market share.
Samsung Portugal turns 40 in September, he noted: “We are the oldest subsidiary, along with Germany, in Europe and it is with great pride that we are celebrating our fortieth anniversary” in 2022.
“We expect another great year,” he said, explaining that the obstacles and problems faced during the pandemic “we turned into opportunities and we took advantage of this slightly more atypical moment of the market to be able, in fact, to show some of the advantages that Samsung has in the market, not only in terms of product, but also in its way of acting, of managing the business, of thinking and planning the future, in which we were really successful and translated into a record year in Portugal.”
For this year overall, Samsung Portugal has positive expectations.
“We are knowing how to use the pandemic as an opportunity” and this year “we will want to challenge ourselves and the market itself, also challenge our customer base and those of other competitors to ensure and obtain their trust”, he said, stressing that 2022 would still be “a pandemic year” and so consumers would continue to seek technology solutions.
“We see more and more the market eager for technology [and above all] premium technology, which means that it becomes a year of opportunity for Samsung,” Parreira said. “We want to develop and we have growth opportunities, such as the online market; we also have emerging categories such as foldable [phones and] other types of opportunities such as the RRP [Recovery and Resilience Plan] funds for digital transformation” from the European Union.
Samsung’s foldable mobile phone, he reiterated, “is a big bet”, but it is a “niche” product, although in Portugal it is already selling worth and represents around 10% of the unit’s premium sales.
Samsung is betting on growth and differentiation in the local market, he said: “We think that foldable products, besides other technological innovations, have to be placed at the top of Samsung’s pyramid of importance in the development of its local and international strategy because it is a source of brand strength and, mainly, a source of customer recruitment.”
Samsung’s online sales in Portugal currently represent around 30% of its total, he said, stressing that it is estimated that this share “has more than doubled in the last two years.”
Asked how much he would like to grow this year in Portugal, he was adamant that this would be “above the market” – with the market seen growing “between 5% and 7% this year” – with growth in the premium segment a priority.
Regarding fifth-generation mobile networks, Parreira said that this was “a great opportunity” for the brand in Portugal.
“Samsung is the market leader in 5G,” he said. “At the end of the year, we finished, in terms of quantities, a market leader. About 50% of the market is already 5G.
“With Samsung having the largest 5G portfolio in the market and 5G leader in the world market everything indicates that it will be an opportunity factor for us in Portugal; it could also be one of the pillars for Samsung’s growth” in the Portuguese market, he said.
Samsung Portugal, the local subsidiary of the South Korean-based multinational, currently has about 70 employees in the country. Asked whether he sees any new hiring this year, Parreira said that this could happen “in a growth scenario” given that the company “may also open different business areas.”
Security is one area where Samsung Portugal has been working “for many years”, cooperating with the office of the National Cyber Security Centre (CNSC), he stressed: “We are the only certified brand, we have products certified at the national security office.”
Regarding the global semiconductor shortage, Parreira stressed that it affected “everyone in the same way” but in the case of Samsung the impact was not so great, as the group “is one of the leaders” in this area. He stressed that the company produces “most” of its products “with Samsung components” besides having a “supply chain management [that is] very aligned [and] very advanced”.