Samsung Electronics Profit Falls 18 Percent

Samsung Electronics Co. said its second-quarter profit fell 18 percent amid weak demand and lower prices for consumer electronics broadly, though rising sales of smartphones led its cellphone business to more than double in profitability.

The company’s chip-manufacturing business remained its biggest contributor to profit, though its earnings were well below the near-record level of a year ago. Its flat-panel business lost money for a second consecutive quarter.

Samsung’s cellphone earnings were lifted by higher sales of smartphones. But for the first time since it started reporting quarterly performance a decade ago, Samsung declined to say how many cellphones it shipped. Strategy Analytics, a Boston-based market research firm, later estimated Samsung shipped 74 million units, up 16 percent from a year ago.

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