Samsung have announced their Q4 and full 2008 financial results, and for the first time since 2000 the company has posted a net loss. Larger than expected losses in the Samsung’s chip unit – a full 14-percent loss, in fact – helped push the quarterly operating loss to $682 million. Net losses for the same period reached 22.2 billion won ($16m), down from profits of 2.21 trillion won ($1.59bn) in Q4 2007 and 1.22 trillion won ($877m) in Q3 2008.
Samsung’s mobile device division, which is second in global sales behind Nokia, posted an operating profit margin of 2-percent, down from 7-percent in Q3 2008. Meanwhile the company’s ailing display division fell from an 8-percent profit in Q3 to 8-percent loss in Q4 2008, both paling compared to Q2 2008’s healthy 21-percent profit.
Overall sales grew by 5.5-percent to 18.45 trillion won ($13.3bn) but nonetheless missed forecasts as the company had previously warned. Samsung are joining many multinationals in declining to give definite financial outlook figures, suggesting only that they would invest “conservatively” and look to reduce capital spending.