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Samsung maintains pace of chip investment despite plunging profit

South Korean company races to build capacity while Micron, SK Hynix slow down

A fourth factory takes shape at Samsung's chip hub in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Jan. 5. The complex is expected to be the biggest in the world once complete. (Photo by Kotaro Hosokawa)

SEOUL/TOKYO -- Samsung Electronics's semiconductor investment shows no signs of letting up even as its profit takes a hit and rivals like TSMC pull back in response to an industry downturn.

South Korea's most valuable company said Friday that operating profit likely plunged 69% on the year in the October-December quarter, underperforming market expectations by 38% and suffering its worst drop since the same quarter in 2008.

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