Posted January. 24, 2009 05:52,
Samsung Electronics said yesterday that it suffered an operating loss of 940 billion won (676 million U.S. dollars) in the fourth quarter last year, the first since the company started tracking quarterly performance in 2000.
Sales also fell to 18.45 trillion won (13.2 billion dollars) in the quarter due to declining demand for semiconductors, LCDs and digital media electronics.
A steep fall in the prices of semiconductors and LCDs led to the loss, with the chip unit losing 560 billion won (402 million dollars) and the LCD division 350 billion won (252 million dollars). The digital media part also posted a deficit of 170 billion won (122 million dollars).
Samsungs mobile phone division performed well, however. Though the global mobile phone market shrank five percent in the fourth quarter year-on-year, the division grew 14 percent in posting an operating profit of 160 billion won (115 million dollars).
The companys performance is expected to be lackluster in the first quarter this year. Demand for semiconductors and LCDs will continue to decline due to the global economic downturn and seasonal factors.
Despite its quarterly loss, however, Samsung showed its best annual performance last year by breaking 100 trillion won (71.8 billion dollars) for the first time. Its sales reached 118.38 trillion won (85.1 billion dollars) and operating profit 5.7 trillion won (4.1 billion dollars).