Seoul: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Thursday that its home appliance division was expected to swing to a profit this quarter, but warned the market would worsen because of a weak US economy.
“Market conditions were better than expected in the first half, but the outlook for the second half is not that bright because of the sluggish US economy,” said Hong Chang-wan, executive vice-president of Samsung’s home appliance unit.
“We expect to return to profit in the third quarter from a seasonally weak second quarter,” Hong told reporters after introducing new fridges in Korea.
Home appliances is one of the smallest business areas for Samsung, which is ranked as the world’s top maker of memory chips, TVs and LCDs and the No.2 producer of mobile phone handsets.
The division, which makes refrigerators, washing machines and microwaves, trails local rival LG Electronics Inc and competes with US-based Whirlpool Corp.
Samsung planned to invest more than $76 million in its Polish appliances plant by next year to boost capacity, Hong said.
“With current capacity at our Polish factory, we are not able to meet demand from Europe,” he said.
Samsung acquired refrigerator and washing machine manufacturing facilities in Poland last year from Amica Wronki SA for $76 million in a rare acquisition for the South Korean electronics maker.
“We aim to become the No.1 maker of refrigerators by 2011, washing machines in 2012 and vacuum cleaners in 2013,” he said.