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(CES) Samsung CEO expects economic woes to continue this year

On the Record: Executive Interviews 11:00 January 08, 2023

By Woo Jae-yeon

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co.'s chief executive has said macroeconomic challenges will persist throughout this year, amid sluggish demand, rising materials and logistics costs.

"Samsung was dealt a heavy blow with deteriorating external factors, like weaker demand and rising costs," Han Jong-hee, vice chair and co-CEO at Samsung, said at a press briefing Friday, the second day of CES 2023 in Las Vegas.

"I think this difficult business environment will continue this year as a prolonged economic slowdown and risks in supply chains cause uncertainties to grow."

Earlier in the week, the South Korean tech giant released a disappointing earnings guidance for the October-December period.

It forecast operating profit in the fourth quarter to plunge 69 percent from a year ago to 4.3 trillion won (US$3.4 billion), compared with 13.87 trillion won from the year-ago period.

The company partly blamed lower chip demand from server clients, data centers and handset makers for its weak performance.

Han Jong-hee, vice chair and co-CEO at Samsung Electronics Co., talks at a press briefing on Jan. 6, 2023, the second day of CES 2023 in Las Vegas, in this photo provided by the company. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Han Jong-hee, vice chair and co-CEO at Samsung Electronics Co., talks at a press briefing on Jan. 6, 2023, the second day of CES 2023 in Las Vegas, in this photo provided by the company. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Han said Samsung will stick to and focus on its core businesses to overcome mounting challenges.

"We will be true to what we do as a tech company. Through technology innovations, we will work to create value to our customers," he said.

At CES 2023, Samsung shared its vision to create a future where all home gadgets are connected and seamlessly communicate with each other to make people's lives easier and more convenient.

Han said Samsung was making all-hands-on-deck efforts to improve customer experience when using Samsung's smart home platform, SmartThings.

The company even built a SmartThing-powered house where employees stay and conduct a test-run of the system as if in real life, he said.

Being an active SmartThings user himself, Han said he was confident Samsung will show greater performance and connectivity going forward.

"I assure you that our new products will improve (connectivity-wise) from this year, as I made complaints so much over the past year," he said.

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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