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Home BUSINESSSamsung Group posts "earnings shock" under new leadership
Tue, 12 May, 2015 03:27:36 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, May 12


 About half of Samsung Group's subsidiaries posted "earnings shock" in the first quarter, boosting worry about the future of the South Korea's largest conglomerate under the third-generation leadership, data showed Monday.

     Ten out of 15 listed subsidiaries of Samsung Group, which announced first-quarter earnings until May 7, recorded lower earnings than market forecasts made by more than three securities firms, according to data by local market researcher FnGuide.

     Among them, seven affiliates logged first-quarter operating profits more than 10 percent below market estimates, which can mean an earnings shock.

     Cheil Industries, the group's de-facto holding company, logged 6 billion won (5.5 million U.S. dollars) in operating profit in the first quarter, 85.9 percent lower than market forecasts.

     Samsung Heavy Industries, a shipbuilding unit of Samsung, posted an operating profit 74.8 percent below market estimates, and the chemical and battery affiliate Samsung SDI logged earnings 77.1 percent lower than forecasts.

     Operating profit of Samsung Electronics, the group's flagship unit, managed to top market estimates, but it kept a double-digit decline amid fiercer competition with its archrival Apple and Chinese rivals, including Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo.

     Worse-than-expected earnings came under the new leadership of Lee Jae-yong, only son of Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee. The younger Lee has been effectively running the group since his father was hospitalized in May 2014 for a heart attack.

     Caused by the worse earnings, concerns about his management ability are expected to get stronger. According to a survey released on March 30 by the private Economic Reform Research Institute, Lee ranked seventh in terms of management ability among 11 heirs apparent of South Korea's conglomerates who have more than five years of management experience.

     The 47-year-old has shown few accomplishments since he joined Samsung in 2001. Many people still remember the failure of e- Samsung, the Internet venture that was launched by the younger Lee in 2000 amid the dot-com bubble and went under a year later with heavy losses.

     Under his leadership, the global market share in smartphones of Samsung Electronics was eroded by Apple and Chinese competitors, tumbling to 24.7 percent in the third quarter of 2014 from 35 percent a year earlier, data by researcher Strategy Analytics showed.

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