SEOUL — Samsung Electronics said Tuesday it expected fourth-quarter operating profit to drop by more than a third, as the company struggles with weak demand for consumer electronics. The South Korean tech giant said in a statement that it forecast profit to come in at 2.8 trillion won ($2.1 billion) for October-December, down 35 per cent on-year. Sales revenue was also seen falling 4.9 per cent to 67 trillion won. Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone maker and the flagship subsidiary of Samsung Group, by far the largest of the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate business in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. South Korean chipmakers, led by Samsung, have enjoyed record profits in recent years as prices of their products soared, but the global economic slowdown has dealt a blow to memory chip sales. Demand swelled during the pandemic as consumers bought computers and smartphones during lockdowns, prompting chipmakers to ramp up production. But appetite quickly diminished as lockdowns came to an end, and weakened further in the face of soaring inflation and rising interest rates. Samsung said in October that it expected better conditions for the memory market in 2024, with PC and mobile demand likely to benefit from some replacement cycles for products sold during the pandemic. The firm is expected to release its final earnings report for 2023 at the end of this month.

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