Tech giant Samsung Electronics said on Thursday its October-December profit rose 16.2 percent from a year earlier, in line with its earlier estimates as earnings from its chips and mobile businesses improved.
But the Seoul company warned of possible weaker earnings this year compared to 2015, due to softer sales of gadgets such as smartphones, a trend that is also hurting rival Apple and major chipmakers.
The South Korean firm's warning came a day after Apple shares fell more than 6.5 percent, the biggest percentage drop in two years, as the iPhone maker forecast its first quarterly sales drop in 13 years.
"Broadly weaker IT demand will make it difficult to maintain 2016 profits at the level of the previous year's," Samsung said in a statement accompanying its fourth-quarter profit results, adding that "challenging business conditions" would remain for the current quarter.
Samsung said its October-December operating profit was 6.1 trillion won ($5.05 billion), compared with 6.1 trillion won it guided for earlier in January. Revenue rose 1.1 percent to 53.3 trillion won, compared with 53 trillion won it guided for.
The maker of Galaxy smartphones and tablets reported a full-year operating profit of 26.4 trillion won, compared with 25 trillion won in 2014.