(San Francisco) Intel suffered a net loss of $2.8 billion in the first quarter, a record for the company, the American semiconductor giant announced on Thursday, which is suffering from a sharp drop in computer sales. personal and smart phones.

This is the second consecutive quarter in the red for the group, which had already lost $664 million in the last quarter of 2022. In the first quarter last year, it had earned $8 billion in net profit.

From January to March, its revenue plummeted, plunging 36% year-on-year to $11.7 billion, its lowest level in more than a decade.

But the market expected even worse results, given Intel’s heavy reliance on makers of everyday electronics.

Revenue from its desktop and laptop components business fell 38% to $5.8 billion.

Global consumer computer sales slumped earlier this year, falling to a level below pre-pandemic levels due to a sharp drop in demand, according to firms IDC and Canalys.

Companies such as Apple, Lenovo or HP have excess inventory, and their customers have already bought equipment during the pandemic or are waiting for better days in the face of inflation.

Intel embarked on a major reorganization in 2021 under the leadership of Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger, but the group will take time to catch up, analysts say.

“Intel has long rested on its laurels,” independent analyst Jack Gold told AFP. “They didn’t do what they should have to stay on top of the industry,” he said.

The Californian groups AMD and Nvidia have thus developed the latest generation chips, and are in fierce competition with it.

Nvidia is taking full advantage of the current craze for artificial intelligence, which requires ultra-sophisticated graphics processors, its specialty.

In the first quarter, revenue for Intel’s components business for data storage centers and artificial intelligence fell 39% year-on-year to $3.7 billion.

“Intel is trying to produce semiconductors that can compete with Nvidia, but this is a new area for them, they haven’t made graphics processors for at least ten years,” notes Jack Gold.

South Korean tech giant Samsung also saw its profits plummet in the first quarter, plunging more than 86%, the lowest in 14 years.

And Samsung’s chip arm suffered losses of 4.58 trillion won (3.1 billion euros), its first net loss since 2009, when the world was just emerging from the financial crisis. of 2008.