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Samsung's semiconductor business posted massive losses for Q1 2023

The company's DS division reported $3.4 billion in operating losses.


Samsung's earnings results for the first quarter of 2023 are in, and they're a massive departure from the same period's last year wherein it reported a steep rise in profit. The tech giant has posted a consolidated revenue of KRW 63.75 trillion (US$47.5 billion) and an operating profit of only KRW 0.64 trillion (US$477 million), mostly because its semiconductor business has (according to Reuters) reported record losses. Samsung's DS division, which operates its semiconductor and display businesses, reported a consolidated revenue of KRW 13.73 trillion (US$10.2 billion). However, it also posted KRW 4.58 trillion (US$3.4 billion) in operating losses for the first quarter.

Overall demand for memory products has been decreasing over the past months, with the division reporting only KRW 0.27 trillion (US$201 million) in operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2022. This quarter, Samsung blamed ongoing inventory adjustments, as well as the economic slowdown and the weakened customer spending that resulted from it for the decrease in overall demand. That said, the company expects demand to gradually recover in the second half of the year as customers' inventory levels get depleted.

Despite the loss in profits overall, Samsung's mobile division performed well in the first quarter. The company's MX and Networks businesses, which cover both mobile devices and telecommunication network equipment, posted KRW 31.82 trillion (US$23.7 billion) in consolidated revenue and KRW 3.94 trillion (US$2.9 billion) in operating profit. Samsung explained that while there was a low demand for smartphones overall, the market for premium devices grew year-over-year. The division's positive performance was apparently made possible by the strong sales of the Galaxy S23 series, specifically the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Going forward, the company's MX business will focus on supporting Galaxy S23 sales while boosting the marketing for its foldable phones to increase awareness about the devices before the next generation drops. Samsung is expected to unveil its next foldable devices in the second half of the year, possibly in August likes its previous launches.