Samsung’s Earnings Plunge in the 4th Quarter

D-Bo, Jan. 8, 2014, 12:44 p.m.

Samsung Electronics’’ earnings have plunged in the last quarter of 2013, inspite of having posted record profits the previous quarters. Samsung said Tuesday that fourth-quarter operating profit fell 18.3 percent compared to the previous quarter and 6.11 percent on-year to W8.3 trillion (US$1=W1,068). Sales totaled W59 trillion. 

The company's operating margin also dropped to 14.1 percent from 17.2 percent in the third quarter. The quarter's operating profit was lower than the W8.5-9 trillion analysts had expected, but Samsung still managed to pull off record annual sales of W228.42 trillion and operating profit of W36.77 trillion. 

The drop was blamed on the poor performance of the electronics giant's internet and mobile division, which accounts for 60 percent of its revenues and 67 percent of its operating profit. The division's operating profit is estimated to have fallen from W6.7 trillion to W5 trillion on-quarter.

The strengthening won also had an impact. Analysts estimate that the company suffered losses of W400 billion in operating profit as the won strengthened about four percent on average in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter.

A Samsung spokesman downplayed the significance of the drop. "It's true that fourth-quarter earnings slowed, but the overall growth trend remained," he said.

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