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Samsung semiconductor division swings to $3.4bn loss in Q1

Tech giant says overall operating profit plunged 95.5%, similar to guidance

Samsung Electronics is trying to weather a slump in demand for semiconductors, used in a wide variety of products including smartphones.    © Reuters

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics said on Thursday that its mainstay semiconductor business swung to an operating loss of 4.6 trillion won ($3.4 billion) in the first quarter from a profit of 8.5 trillion won a year earlier, as the world's biggest memory chipmaker navigates a brutal downturn in the global market for the key component.

The South Korean tech behemoth also confirmed that operating profit for the company as a whole slumped to 640 billion won for the first three months of the year, down 95.5% from a year earlier. Revenue dropped 18.1% to 63.8 trillion won. The figures were slightly better than earnings guidance issued earlier this month.

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