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Samsung Chairman Lee Urges New Businesses as Economy Stays Slow

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Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Kun Hee urged employees to develop new businesses that can help the world’s largest maker of mobile phones and TVs fend off a slow global economy and increased competition.

“There’s an ongoing competition by global companies across all areas from products, technology development and hiring talented people to patent disputes,” Lee said, according to a summary of a speech he gave to employees today. “The market is big and opportunities are wide open, so we should find out new businesses that Samsung’s future will hinge on.”

Samsung Group, which runs 82 affiliate companies and generates about 20 percent of South Korea’s gross domestic product, should boost investment and create new jobs, Lee said, according to the summary distributed by Samsung Group via e-mail.

The group’s flagship electronics unit, Suwon-based Samsung Electronics, is the world’s biggest seller of mobile phones, TVs, memory chips and flat-panel displays. Samsung shipped about one in every four handsets in the third quarter, according to researcher IDC, and it sells one in every four flat-panel TVs, according to data from DisplaySearch.

Asia’s biggest consumer-electronics company posted a record 165 trillion won ($155 billion) in revenue in 2011. That is forecast to increase to 201.2 trillion won, according to the average of 43 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company will release its fourth-quarter earnings estimates early next week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jungah Lee in Seoul at jlee1361@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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