Samsung Electronics projected an 84.9 percent annual decrease in operating profit last year due to a significant downturn in the semiconductor industry. The company expects to report an operating profit of 6.5 trillion won ($5 billion), the lowest since 2008 and below the market consensus. The projected annual sales figure is 258.2 trillion won, down 14.6 percent from the previous year, falling short of market estimates. Analysts estimate that Samsung's memory chip business incurred operating losses in 2023, offset by profits in the smartphone and panel-making divisions.

Market experts anticipate a rebound in the semiconductor industry this year, with strong demand expected in the advanced AI segment. Despite a challenging year, Samsung made progress in reducing inventory and increasing chip shipments in the fourth quarter. The company reported a 35 percent drop in operating profit and a 4.9 percent decrease in sales for the fourth quarter, with the semiconductor business recording an operating loss and the smartphone and network equipment division posting a profit. However, the recovery in the chip sector is slower than expected due to weak overall demand for electronic devices. The final results for the year will be announced by the end of this month.