Samsung has announced that it will invest a record $40.4 billion across its businesses this year, increasing the sum by 12 percent on last year’s figures, as it plans for what it has already labelled a “tough year”.

A Samsung statement, reported by the AFP (via ABS-CBN News), confirmed that the Korean electronics firm would plough increased funds into recruiting (up 4 percent on 2011), facilities (up 11 percent), research and development (up 13 percent) and capital investment (up 10 percent).

The group, which company chairman Lee Kun-Hee admitted would look to acquisitions and new technology for the year, confirmed that it will look to new areas and make sizeable investments:

We will make large investments in our core businesses as well as new business sectors.

Samsung posted record preliminary profits less than two weeks ago, in stark contrast to rival HTC whose profits slumped for the first time in two years.

According to Reuters, Samsung’s fourth-quarter operating profit rose by 73 percent year-on-year to reach 5.2 trillion won ($4.5 billion), with a reported 35 million smartphones sold over the three-month period. Samsung’s third-quarter saw sales of around 28 million smartphones, highlighting a 7 million rise October through December.

Samsung has already shown its intention to work differently this year, with an emphasis on cost, after forming a joint-venture to develop mobile chipsets alongside Japanese operator DoCoMo and tech firms Panasonic, Fujitsu and NEC.