Samsung's net profit slid 18 per cent in the second quarter as weakness in semiconductors and liquid crystal displays countered the electronics giant's growing strength in smartphones.
Samsung, the world's biggest manufacturer of memory chips, LCDs and flat screen televisions, earned 3.51 trillion won ($3.33 billion) in the three months ended June 30, it said Friday in a regulatory filing. Samsung earned 4.28 trillion won the same period last year.
Samsung has suffered this year due to slack prices for electronic components amid oversupply and weak demand. Net profit slumped 30 per cent in the first quarter amid declines in memory chip prices and reduced profitability in LCDs and TVs.
Second quarter sales at the Suwon, South Korea-based company rose 4.1 per cent to 39.4 trillion won from 37.9 trillion won a year earlier.
"We were confronted with a difficult business environment overall," Robert Yi, a Samsung vice president, said on an earnings conference call. Global economic uncertainties persisted, and consumer demand for products such as personal computers and televisions was "soft."
Yi said Samsung's revenue gain was "mainly due to strong handset performance led by continuing success of our smartphones."
Both operating profit and sales in Samsung's memory business fell as weak global personal computer sales suppressed demand for DRAM, or dynamic random access memory, chips used in the devices, the company said in a release.
Samsung's display panel business racked up an operating loss of 210 billion won, reversal from profit of 880 billion won the year before, with sales declining 9 per cent as LCD prices fell.
Yi called the results in that sector "quite disappointing."
The bright spot continued to be mobile phones. Revenues in the company's mobile communications business, which includes phones, rose 45 per cent from the year before. Sales of mobile phones increased from the previous quarter on the back of the company's flagship Galaxy S II smartphone.
Samsung, which ranks No. 2 in mobile phones behind Finland's Nokia Corp., has sold more than 5 million units globally of the updated smartphone since it went on sale in late April.
Samsung expects demand for mobile phones to increase 15 per cent in the second half of this year driven by consumers upgrading to smartphones, it said in the release.
Shares in Samsung, which announced results before South Korea's stock market opened, rose 0.8 per cent to close Friday at 844,000 won. The company's stock price has declined 11 per cent so far this year.