Samsung posts record chip losses
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Samsung posts record chip losses

Samsung posts record chip losses

Korea’s largest company reported net income of KWR1.4tn and its semiconductor division posted a loss of KWR4.58tn


Samsung Electronics posted record quarterly losses in its chip division, demonstrating the broad fallout from a global downturn dogging the biggest technology firms.

The world’s most prolific smartphone and memory chipmaker said Thursday it saw demand for the storage components improving gradually, echoing sentiments SK Hynix executives expressed a day ago.

The brand expects a second-half recovery in smartphones and displays, driven by a Chinese recovery. Its shares were largely unchanged in early Seoul trading.

Samsung’s Q1 2023 results

Korea’s largest company reported net income of KWR1.4tn ($1.05bn), compared with the KWR1.45tn average analyst estimate. Its semiconductor division, typically its largest, posted a loss of KWR4.58tn.

The loss punctuates concerns about a broad tech recession that’s hit the world’s biggest names from Apple to Intel, Samsung, which supplies chips to Apple while making the iPhone’s closest competitor, posted its slimmest operating profit since 2009 just a few weeks ago.

Samsung has been at the heart of a slump gripping the $160bn global memory industry, a proxy for a wider tech downturn that set in after a Covid-era boom in internet activity and device sales.

Inflation and recession fears last year triggered a rapid pullback on consumer and business spending that’s since hammered sales of electronics worldwide.

To reverse sliding chip prices, Samsung announced this month it was initiating a “meaningful” cut in semiconductor production.

Despite that reduction, Samsung said Thursday its investment in memory chips this year will be similar to last year’s because it’s seeking to safeguard its longer-term competitiveness.

The unusual move, twinned with more upbeat predictions about PC and phone demand, spurred hopes that the industry will climb out of its trough this year. Spot memory prices rebounded for the first time in 13 months shortly after the announcement.

On Wednesday, Hynix added to that sentiment after reporting a drop in revenue that was not as bad as feared and saying it sees memory prices bottoming out in the current quarter. Micron Technology, the largest US maker of memory chips, had already said client inventories were declining.

Any sustained recovery may hinge on an economic rebound in China, the world’s largest market for PCs and smartphones. That recovery has been uneven but is gaining steam.

Read: Samsung warns chip industry is headed for tough close to 2022

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