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Samsung Electronics first-quarter profit falls 60% on-year as weak chip prices bite

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Via Reuters Finance

SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd posted a 60 percent drop in first-quarter operating profit on Tuesday, hit by falls in chip prices and slowing demand for display panels.

FILE PHOTO: Attendees at Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s Unpacked event test out the company’s new devices in San Francisco, California, U.S., February 20, 2019 REUTERS/Stephen Nellis

Operating profit was 6.2 trillion won ($5.4 billion) in the January-March quarter, in line with the 6.2 trillion won the company had estimated earlier this month.

Revenue fell 13.5 percent to 52.4 trillion won, also in line with its earlier estimates.

Samsung’s core semiconductor business booked a 64 percent fall in operating profit to 4.1 trillion won, while the display business logged 560 billion won in losses.

The world’s top maker of smartphones said its mobile business posted a 40 percent drop in operating profit to 2.3 trillion won.

The South Korean tech giant is hoping to revive flagging growth in its mobile business with its latest handset, featuring a big, bending screen.

But in a blow to its renewed focus on innovation, Samsung delayed global sales of its upcoming foldable phone after several reviewers discovered problems with the display.

Memory chip makers including Samsung have been hit by a weaker global smartphone market and a fall in server demand amid a broader economic slowdown.

Samsung’s smaller rival, memory chip maker SK Hynix, last week posted the slimmest quarterly operating profit in more than two years, but said it was confident chip demand would recover later this year as its server DRAM customers boosted investments.

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(This story corrects percentage changes in paragraphs 4 and 5).

Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Stephen Coates

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