Samsung profit growth decelerates; warns on Q1

|About: Samsung Electronics Co., ... (SSNLF)|By:, SA News Editor

Samsung's (SSNLF) net-profit growth slowed significantly in Q4, rising 5.4% on year to 7.3T ($6.7B) won vs an increase of 25.6% in Q3.

Sales increased 5.7% from a year earlier to 59.3 trillion won.

Operating profit -6% to 8.31T won, the first drop in two years.

The company warned that it will be "challenging" to improve its earnings in Q1, "as the weak seasonality of the IT industry will put pressure on demand for components and TV products."

The strength of the Korean won hurt earnings by 700B won ($651M), and the company took an 800B won one-time charge related to employee bonuses.

Operating profit at Samsung's mobile unit was flat on year at 5.47T won but down from a record 6.7T won in Q3, hurt by the release of new iPhones.

Samsung expects Q1 smartphone shipments to rise at a "mid-single digit" pace on quarter and tablet shipments at a "high single-digit" rate.

Further operating profit breakdown: chip division rose to 1.99T won from 1.42T won a year earlier; display plunged 90% to 110B won, dragged down by weaker-than-forecast sales of the Galaxy S4 and poor demand for TVs; consumer-electronics dropped to to 660B won from 700B won.

Samsung intends to spend a similar amount on capex in 2014 as in 2013, when it invested 23.8T won.

Shares closed +3% in Seoul.