Samsung posts a 23 percent profit decline due to weak demand

Its mobile business had a stellar third quarter, however, thanks to its foldables and flagships.

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Samsung has reported a record consolidated revenue of 76.78 trillion Korean won (US$54 billion) for the third quarter of 2022, but it has also posted a decline in profit from the previous quarter and year-over-year. The tech giant's operating profit (KRW 10.85 trillion or US$7.6 billion) has declined 23 percent from the second quarter and around 31.4 percent from the same period last year. Samsung's operating profit from July to September 2021 was KRW 15.82 trillion, which was 26 percent higher than the quarter prior to that. In its earnings report, the company said its various divisions have been grappling with weak demand in the midst of global economic instability.

Weak demand for consumer products and customers' inventory adjustments caused its Memory business' earnings to shrink. Its LSI business' earnings fell due to weak demand for phones and TVs, as well, though revenue from SoCs grew due to an increased portion of 5G. Samsung's Visual Display Business was also affected by low demand and increased costs.

Samsung's Mobile eXperience (MX) business was its bright spot last quarter. Together with the company's Networks business, it posted KRW 32.21 trillion (US$22.6 billion) in consolidated revenue and KRW 3.24 trillion (US$2.27 billion) in operating profit, which are both higher than the previous quarter's. The company attributes the MX business' success to sales of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4, both of which showed stronger growth than their predecessors. Further, the Galaxy S22 series was able to maintain "solid sales momentum."

The tech giant expects its mobile business to perform even better in the fourth quarter as demand for smartphones and wearables increases due to year-end seasonality. And since the smartphone and wearable markets are expected to grow as a whole next year, Samsung's mobile business might continue bringing in solid profits. Another division that did well in the third quarter is the tech giant's Foundry business, which delivered record earnings (KRW 23.02 trillion or US$16 billion in consolidated revenue and KRW 5.12 trillion or US$3.6 billion in operating profit) thanks to solid demand from global customers.

On the same day that it released its third quarter earnings, Samsung has also formally named Jay Y. Lee as its executive chairman. It's mostly a symbolic move, seeing as Lee is the company's de-facto leader anyway. But as Bloomberg notes, the title could help make things smoother for Lee as he closes deals with other companies around the world in an effort to expand Samsung's semiconductor and biotechnology businesses. Lee, who was sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 after being found guilty of bribing public officials, received a presidential pardon in August so he could help South Korea overcome the economic crisis.

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