Samsung reports worst quarterly profit in 8 years

STORY: Tech giant Samsung reported its lowest quarterly profit in eight years on Tuesday.

It posted a 69% plunge from October to December compared to the same time the year before, just under US$3.5 billion.

Consumers wanted fewer electronic devices, and the company’s clients tightened their belt in the face of a weak economy.

The prices of memory chips also fell last year by double-digit percentages.

Samsung’s chip profit tumbled to its lowest since the first quarter of 2009, and analysts expect the conglomerate’s chip business to report a loss into early 2023.

However, instead of slashing investment in semiconductors, which is what Samsung’s rivals SK Hynix and Micron Technology said they plan to do, the world’s biggest memory chipmaker signaled it won't slow down spending.

Indicating it would use its deep pockets during this downturn and expand its market share in chips used in smartphones and PCs later this year.

Instead, Samsung signaled short-term production would drop slightly, as it adjusts production lines, and moves to more advanced chipmaking processes.

While Samsung is expected to unveil its new generation of premium Galaxy S smartphones on Wednesday…

… it said a greater-than-expected decline in sales for low-and mid-end devices, was to blame for its mobile division’s fourth-quarter profit tumbling to US$1.4 billion, compared to US$2.2 billion from the year before.