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Samsung profits fall to 8-year low on demand slump

STORY: Samsung Electronics' quarterly profit tumbled by two-thirds to an eight-year low in weaker-than-expected preliminary results on Friday (January 6).

As a flagging global economy hammered memory-chip prices and curbed demand for electronic devices.

It was Samsung's smallest quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2014.

The dismal estimate is a bellwether for global consumer demand.

Samsung's profits are expected to shrink again in the current quarter, analysts said, with a glut driving a further drop in memory-chip prices.

The South Korean company - the world's largest memory chip, smartphone and TV maker - announced its October-December operating profit likely fell 69% to 4.3 trillion won, or $3.37 billion, from 13.87 trillion won a year earlier.

Rising global interest rates and the cost of living have not only dampened demand for smartphones and other devices but also for the semiconductors Samsung supplies to rivals such as Apple.

The firm said in the statement the fall in demand was greater than expected.

Despite that, Samsung shares closed 1.4% higher on Friday.

One analyst said that was because investors hoped Samsung would have to reduce production, which would help the memory industry overall.

Industry watchers also say the firm can use its deep pockets during this downturn to maintain its investment plans and expand market share.