Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Samsung Flags First Profit Drop in 2 Years on Weak Chip Demand

Samsung leads the global smartphone market with a 20 percent share Samsung leads the global smartphone market with a 20 percent share
Orlando Vargas | 09 January, 2019, 00:17

Earlier in the day, Samsung estimated a 29 per cent drop in quarterly profit, its first decline in two years, as it flagged tough memory chip and mobile phone markets.

Samsung is the world leader in smartphones and memory chips and has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite setbacks including the recall of handsets due to reports they were catching fire.

The South Korean company reported preliminary operating income dropped to 10.8 trillion won (US$9.65 billion) for the period that ended in December, missing the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg by 22 per cent.

In a short press release, Samsung said the expected consolidated sales are approximately KRW59 trillion, while the operating profit should be around KRW10.8 trillion.

Moving forward, Samsung expects its weak performance to continue throughout the first quarter of 2019.

On Tuesday, the South Korean tech giant said weaker-than-expected demand from some of its data centre customers adjusting inventories drove down chip prices and hurt earnings.

The South Korean chipmaker said there's weak global demand for its products amid a global economic slowdown that's being driven, in part, by a almost year-long trade war between the USA and China.

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Apple's surprise cut to its sales forecast last week suggested a worsening outlook for orders for Samsung.

Demand for DRAM memory chips "will hit a low in the fourth quarter of 2019", he told AFP news agency.

Samsung will disclose detailed earnings later in January.

Shares in Samsung Electronics, the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group that dominates South Korea's economy, were down 0.4 percent in mid-morning trading.

'Samsung is losing ground to Huawei, Xiaomi and other Chinese rivals in the huge China and India markets, ' Neil Mawston, executive director at market researcher Strategy Analytics, said in a report.

Samsung is also set to introduce the world's first bendable smartphone in the first half.

Samsung's reputation suffered a major blow after a damaging worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices over exploding batteries in 2016, which cost the firm billions of dollars and shattered its global brand image.

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