Samsung Electronics fourth-quarter profit sags as smartphone growth concern deepens

SEOUL Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:59pm EST

The company logo is displayed at the Samsung news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The company logo is displayed at the Samsung news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd posted its first decline in quarterly profit in two years, hit by a one-off special bonus as well as slowing smartphone sales as it braces for a year of tougher competition with rival Apple Inc.

The South Korean maker of Galaxy-brand smartphones said October-December operating profit fell 6 percent on year to 8.3 trillion won ($7.73 billion), in line with its previous estimate.

Operating profit at its cash cow mobile division stood unchanged at 5.47 trillion won, but slipped 18 percent from July-September's record 6.7 trillion won as new iPhones from Apple drew away sales during the year-end holiday period.

Shares of Samsung Electronics, worth $204 billion, closed down 2.2 percent on Thursday, compared with the benchmark index which was 1.2 percent lower.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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