Business

Samsung Electronics flags one-third drop in Q4 operating profits

SEOUL : Samsung Electronics' operating profits fell by more than a third in the fourth quarter, the world's biggest manufacturer of smartphones and memory chips estimated yesterday.

Samsung was assailed by a series of difficulties last year, with chip stockpiles bloated and prices falling, in contrast to the booming market of previous years. The premium smartphone market has also grown fiercely competitive with buyers waiting longer before upgrading to new models.

But the figures beat expectations, Yonhap news agency reported, and represented a relative improvement - in each of the first three quarters of last year, net profits fell by more than half year-on-year.

The company is crucial to South Korea's economic health. It is the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group, the largest of the family-controlled conglomerates known as chaebols that dominate business in the world's 11th-largest economy.

In an earnings guidance statement, Samsung projected operating profits in the October to December period at 7.1 trillion won (S$8.2 billion), down 34.2 per cent year-on-year.

Sales were forecast to be flat at 59 trillion won, it added.

For full-year 2019, it predicted operating profits of 27.7 trillion won, down 52.9 per cent, on sales down 5.8 per cent to 229.5 trillion won. - AFP

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