SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics on Tuesday reported its highest quarterly profit for the year as losses from its computer chip business narrowed amid a slow recovery in global demand.
Samsung said it expects its business to further improve in coming months, considering the replacement cycles of personal computers and smartphones and the expansion of artificial intelligence-based devices and services, which has been increasing the demand for its DRAM chips.
Jaejune Kim, executive vice president of Samsung's memory business, said during a conference call that the company plans to more than double its production capacity of advanced high-bandwidth memory chips in 2024 to respond to demands created by AI.
The South Korean technology giant's 2.43 trillion won ($1.8 billion) operating profit for the three months to September still marked a 77.6% decline from the same period last year as the company in past months has grappled with weak memory chip prices and the global economic shock of Russia's war on Ukraine. The company's 67.4 trillion won ($50 billion) revenue for the last quarter was a 12.2% drop from a year earlier.
Samsung said the operating losses from its semiconductor business fell from 4.36 trillion won ($3.2 billion) in the second quarter to 3.75 trillion won ($2.78 billion) for the July-September period.
It said the improvements in demand have been driven by high-end chips used for artificial intelligence technologies and resumed orders from PC and mobile device manufacturers, which had previously focused on lowering their chip inventory while weathering weak consumer spending.
It also said it expects to spend a record 53.7 trillion won in capital expenditure this year, including 47.5 trillion won on chips, to prepare for mid-to-long term demand increase.
"Overall memory demand is expected to recover gradually thanks to increasing demand for AI and normalizing inventory levels at customers, but various factors that can affect the server market — such as geopolitical issues and spending trends that are related to macroeconomic conditions and centered on generative AI — need to be continuously monitored," Samsung said in a statement.