Samsung trading update beats expectations on one-off gains

Korean tech giant to post year-on-year profit decline as US-China trade war wreaks havoc

 Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 8 during its launching ceremony in 2017

Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 8 during its launching ceremony in 2017

 

Samsung Electronics forecast a steep plunge in its second-quarter operating profit as the US-China trade war wreaks havoc in global chip and smartphone markets, although one-off gains helped it beat analyst expectations.

The South Korean tech giant is on track to post year-on-year profit declines for a third consecutive quarter as chip prices fell due to a supply glut and US sanctions on Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies, a key Samsung client.

Memory chipmakers like Samsung and South Korea’s SK Hynix are hurting as rising tariffs hit global demand for electronics. Seoul cut its annual economic growth target on Wednesday to a seven-year low as exports slump.

South Korea’s tech majors are also bearing the brunt of Japanese curbs on exports to South Korea of materials used in memory chips and smartphones, the latest flashpoint in a quarrel over Japan’s use of forced wartime labour.

“There’s not enough to say positive earnings momentum has come. Intensified US-China war, and Japanese export curbs and signs of trade conflicts widening globally are likely to delay recovery,” said Lee Kyoung-min, analyst at Daishin Securities.

April-June operating profit likely fell 56 per cent to 6.5 trillion won (€4.9bn), Samsung said in a regulatory filing ahead of the release of its detailed earnings figures in late July.

One-off gains in the display division, which supplies display panels to Apple, were reflected in the operating profit, the company said without elaborating.

Samsung received reimbursement worth about 800 billion won for display panels sold to Apple as the US smartphone maker missed a sales target the parties had agreed on, analysts said.

Revenue likely fell 4.2 per cent from a year earlier to 56 trillion won, the firm said. – Reuters