Samsung Electronics today announced its fourth quarter results showing a decline in profits for the first time in two years.
The company reported net profit of ₩7.3tn (Korean won) for the three-month period ending in December, which equated to a decline of 11% from the previous quarter.
Sales remained flat compared with the third quarter, bringing in just under ₩59.3tn, with a 9% decline in its mobile shipments and a 20% decline in its display panel business.
This meant operating profits for a number of its divisions were down, falling 18% to ₩5.47tn for its IT and Mobile business – covering smartphones and tablets – and a massive decline of 88% for its display panels.
Although it hopes to build on these areas later in 2014, with promised expansions of the mobile portfolio, further investments into wearable technologies, and looking to increase its markets for panels past the smartphone arena, Samsung admitted it would still struggle to improve its figures in the first quarter due to “the weak seasonality of the IT industry”.
“Amid macroeconomic uncertainties such as a strong Korean won and increased concerns over possible quantitative easing tapering in the US, our earnings were lower than what the market expected due to a negative currency impact of around ₩700bn and a significant one-off expense of about ₩800bn,” said Robert Yi, senior vice-president and head of investor relations at Samsung.
“However, fourth quarter operational results were respectably strong. Looking at the quarterly earnings trend, we expect 2014 to follow last year’s pattern of a weak first half and a strong second half as usual.”