Samsung to fund growth targets with $50 billion cash pile

Samsung has a lot of cash lying around, and it wants to use it to buy other companies and continue to grow.

The South Korean giant plans on using the $56 billion (£36.5 billion) cash pile to fund growth, which also means acquisitions, the tech giant's investor relations chief said.

Even though Samsung’s profit declined in 2014 for the first time in three years, investors were cheered by a 40 per cent dividend boost and its first share buyback since 2007.

The main culprit for the decline was Apple with its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones.

But Robert Yi, Samsung's head of investor relations, hinted that shareholders should not expect the same in 2015, as the company wants to grow.

"Dividends and other forms of shareholder returns are responsibilities that the company has for shareholders, so we will make efforts to meet them. But our primary objective is growth and that is what we are communicating to our shareholders," Yi told Reuters in a recent interview.

In the past two years, Samsung has made ten acquisitions. Those purchases have been fairly small, and investors are asking for bigger deals.

"We are primarily focused on M&A deals for companies that would be good fits to Samsung's current businesses, and we believe that know-how and experience accrued from such transactions will make bigger M&A deals possible going forward," Yi said.

Yi declined to comment specifically on plans for buybacks or dividends. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that Samsung would probably pay out less this year than in 2014.

Samsung Electronics held cash of 61.8 trillion won (£36.5b) at the end of 2014.