Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Samsung forecasts steep drop in Q4 earnings

07 January 2014, 08:38

Seoul - South Korea's Samsung said Tuesday it expected a steep drop in its operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2013, as slowing sales of high-end smartphones and a strong won hit the world's top technology firm.

The company forecast an operating profit of 8.3 trillion won ($7.8 billion) for October-December, down 18.3 percent from the third quarter and 6.1 percent lower than a year earlier.

Sales will likely reach 59 trillion won, down 0.1 percent from the third quarter but up 5.24 percent from a year earlier, according to earnings guidance released by the firm.

It would mark the first on-quarter drop in Samsung's operating profit since the first three months of 2013 and would be the lowest figure since July-September 2012. It is also the first year-on-year drop in the firm's operating profit for more than two years.

Samsung - the world's top maker of mobile phones and TVs - posted record net profits for the first three quarters of last year, largely fuelled by robust sales of its popular smartphones. It did not disclose net profit estimates for the fourth quarter.

The latest earnings guidance showed the firm's annual sales and operating profit for 2013 hit record highs of 228.4 trillion won and 36.7 trillion won.

But the company -- which has dethroned US rival Apple as the world's top smartphone maker in the past two years -- saw sales of high-end devices slow as the market becomes increasingly saturated.

"Samsung has constantly expanded sales, but now the (handset) market demand appears to have reached a limit," said Kim Ji-Woong, an analyst at E* trade Securities in Seoul.

The earnings guidance relates to overall sales and profits for the entire company, which produces products from memory chips to TVs, but operating profit at the firm's mobile unit is likely to have dropped significantly, Kim warned.

However, Lee Sun-Tae, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said profits had been hit by one-off spending on marketing and bonuses for workers - estimated to be worth at least 700 billion won - to mark the 20th anniversary of its key management principles.

"Samsung spent hugely for marketing costs to clear inventory during the year-end shopping season," he said.

"I see big potential for improved profits in the first quarter of this year once such costs decrease," Lee added, saying the firm's memory chip unit also showed signs of improvement.

Intensifying competition from budget handset makers has raised questions over whether Samsung can sustain its ever-soaring profits - largely fuelled by its mobile unit.

Consumers gave its much-heralded Galaxy Gear smartwatch, launched in September, a relatively cool reception.

And the steady strengthening of the Korean won against the US dollar and Japanese yen have dealt a blow to major South Korean exporters as a stronger currency hits competitiveness and hurts repatriated earnings.

Hyundai - the world's fifth-largest automaker - said last week it expected sales this year to grow at their lowest pace in more than a decade.

Samsung's final earnings results are due to be released later this month.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...