Samsung Electronics says third quarter profit fell 56pc

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics said yesterday its operating profit for the last quarter fell by nearly 56 per cent, with its robust sales of smartphones, displays and TVs offset by a continuously weak market for computer chips.

The South Korean technology giant reported an operating profit of KRW7.78 trillion (USD6.7 billion) for the July-September quarter, which represented a 55.7 per cent drop from the same period last year.

Samsung said third-quarter revenue fell 5.3 per cent to KRW62 trillion (USD53.4 billion).

Samsung is the world’s biggest maker of semiconductors and smartphones, but it has struggled with falling prices for DRAM and NAND memory chips since late last year.

Experts said chipmakers are suffering after misreading industry demand for their products. They invested heavily in 2016 and 2017 to ramp up production, but global orders for chips used in smartphones, Internet-connected cars and other products have been slower than expected.

Samsung said there are positive signs for its semiconductor business, which could possibly be boosted by data-centre customers and the expansion of 5G smartphone services in the coming months.

However, the company said semiconductor demand for next year should be “viewed with caution as uncertainties remain in the macroeconomic environment,” a likely reference to the United States (US)-China trade dispute.