SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) — Samsung SDI Co., South Korea’s No. 2 battery maker, said Tuesday it spent a record high of 808.3 billion won (US$703.2 million) in research and development activities last year to develop advanced battery technologies.
Samsung SDI’s R&D spending accounted for 7.2 percent of its 2020 sales, according to its annual report.
The company has been working on rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles (EV) that cost less, last longer and charge faster to meet growing demand from global automakers.
It has been also developing technologies for energy storage systems (ESS) and advanced materials for IT products, including semiconductors, displays and mobile devices.
The firm’s sales rose 11.9 percent on-year to 11.3 trillion last year, and its operating profit soared 45.3 percent to 671.3 trillion won over the cited period, led by solid demand for EV batteries.
The company expected increased revenue from the EV battery and ESS markets this year amid the tightening environmental regulations in major countries, including the United States and Europe.
In an earnings call, the company said it will begin mass production of the next-generation Gen. 5 EV battery in the latter half of this year to meet growing demand for lithium-ion batteries with higher energy density.