Samsung Electronics' Net Profits Sinks 72%

Sales increased 8.5%.

Computer memory chipmaker Samsung Electronics said Friday its first-quarter net profit fell 72% year-on-year as poor demand depressed prices.

Net profit for January-March was 619 billion won (US$462.6 million) compared with 2.19 trillion won a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Sales rose 8.5% to 18.57 trillion won over the period, while operating profit year-on-year fell to 148 billion won from 2.15 trillion.

The quarterly result was still better than analysts had expected and compares with a 20 billion won loss in the last quarter of 2008 -- the company's first-ever quarterly loss.

"Despite the extremely challenging market environment, Samsung made a strong recovery from the fourth quarter of 2008, supported by stabilizing semiconductor prices, increased profit margin for mobile phones and careful control of marketing and other expenditure," the firm said in a statement.

Vice-president Robert Yi said "lingering uncertainty means it is difficult to predict a sharp improvement in demand or the business environment in the near term."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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