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Samsung sees profit growth slow in Q2 as competition heats up

Tim Maytom

Smartphone manufacturer Samsung posted its Q2 2018 financial results, revealing its slowest quarterly profit growth in more than a year. Analysts pointed to increased competition among Android manufacturers for the slowing growth, with the firm's flagship Galaxy S9 device missing sales targets.

Operating profit from Samsung's mobile business saw its steepest rate of decline since Q1 2017, as cheaper handsets put increased pressure on its margins. Combined with higher marketing expenses and the disappointing performance of the S9, the results left many investors worried that the smartphone leader was falling behind.

Overall, Samsung's mobile business brought in ?2.7 trillion (£1.8bn) in operating profit in Q2, a 34 per cent fall quarter on quarter. Mobile accounts for around 40 per cent of its total revenue.

The company seems to be pinning its hopes on new foldable phones that it predicts will become the 'next big thing'. Its bendable screen technology recently passed key US safety testing, a crucial step in coming to market.

"We are hoping that such adoption will serve as a catalyst in the stagnated mobile market," said KyeongTae Lee, vice president of Samsung's mobile business, in a statement to analysts.

Samsung isn't the only phone manufacturer that struggled in Q2, with Huawei Technologies also posting its slowest growth in H1 sales since 2013. With such a slowdown among two of the largest smartphone makers, all eyes are on Apple's results, which are expected to remain solid.