Samsung’s quarterly profits have plunged to their lowest level in eight years as customers snapped up fewer cell phones and laptops.
The tech giant reported operating profit of 4.3 trillion Korean won ($3.5 billion) on Tuesday for the three months ended December, down 69% from a year ago. Revenue fell 8% to just under 70.5 trillion won ($57.3 billion), it said in a statement.
It was the company’s weakest quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2014, when its smartphone business lost serious ground to competitors.
“The business environment deteriorated significantly in the fourth quarter due to weak demand amid a global economic slowdown,” Samsung noted in the statement.
The dreary results were anticipated. Samsung (SSNLF) had flagged the lackluster performance in a pre-earnings forecast earlier this month, with analysts citing falling memory chip prices and fewer orders of consumer devices.
In a presentation to investors, the electronics maker confirmed that “mobile and PC demand was weak,” and its memory chip business had also suffered “as customers continued to adjust their inventories amid deepening uncertainties.”
Samsung estimates quarterly profit sank to 8-year low on demand slump
Samsung expects some of those problems to continue in the coming months due to global economic uncertainty, though it anticipates overall demand to start recovering in the second half of the year.
Smartphone demand will likely slide again this quarter compared to the same period a year ago, “due to the economic slowdown in major regions,” it said.
Samsung’s shares dropped 3% in Seoul on Tuesday.
There were some bright spots. Samsung said it took in 302.2 trillion won ($245.7 billion) in revenue for the full year of 2022, up from 279.6 trillion won ($227.4 billion) in 2021, and a record high.
Analysts have said, however, that they expect the company’s profits to drop again this quarter because of a continued decline in memory chip prices.