SEOUL (Xinhua) – Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest maker of memory chips, display panels and TVs, posted a double-digit fall in operating profit in the fourth quarter of last year, a regulatory filing showed yesterday.
Preliminary figure for operating profit was 10.8 trillion won ($9.6 billion) in the October-December quarter, down 28.7 percent from a year earlier.
It was down 38.5 percent from the prior quarter when the South Korean company logged its record-high operating profit. The figure missed market expectations of about 13.4 trillion won ($11.9 billion).
Revenue declined 10.6 percent over the year to 59 trillion won ($52.5 billion) in the December quarter.
Net income and earnings of each business would be announced later this month after external audit and approval by board of directors.
Samsung said its memory chip-making business saw a sharp decline in earnings on weak global demand amid the expanded external uncertainties, noting that the earnings of its smartphone division went down in the fourth quarter on stiffer competition with rival manufacturers.
The company forecast that the slump in its memory chip business would continue in the first quarter on soft global demand before recovering in the second half of this year.
Demand was estimated to have weakened in the fourth quarter for Samsung products, ranging from chips to mobile phones, amid the global economic slowdown caused mainly by trade conflict among major economies.
The iPhone maker, Apple, is one of Samsung’s biggest customers for memory chip and display panel. Apple sharply lowered its earnings guidance for the fourth quarter.