Samsung Electronics sales slumped after it was hit by a slowdown in demand for memory chips.Samsung is the largest memory and computer chip maker and distributor in the world.
The South Korean firm’s chips power the handsets of most major smartphone makers including Apple and Huawei Technologies. Its memory and processor chips account for about 72 percent of overall profit.
Fourth-quarter operating profit for its chip division fell to 7.8 trillion won from 10.9 trillion won a year earlier. Its mobile division logged 1.5 trillion won quarterly operating profit, down from 2.4 trillion won from a year ago.
Last year, Samsung shares lost 24 percent amid a global tech selloff prompted by investor fears over the impact on supply chains of the U.S.-China trade conflict.Samsung said memory demand was expected to remain weak in the first quarter due to macroeconomic uncertainties as well as inventory adjustments by major customers.
The tech giant said that it expected overall annual earnings to decline this year although sales of memory products and OLED panels would begin to revive in the second half.