Samsung Electronics tips profits to leap 50%


SEOUL: Samsung Electronics said Friday it expects profits to soar by nearly 50 percent in the December quarter, as strong memory chip prices push earnings to their highest point in three years despite a smartphone recall fiasco.

The world’s largest memory chip maker estimated its operating profit in the October-December period at 9.2 trillion won ($7.8 billion), up 49.8 percent from a year earlier.

Brisk sales of memory chips and smartphone screens had been expected to boost the company’s bottom line but the outcome exceeded analyst expectations of a fourth-quarter profit of some 8.4 trillion won.

Kim Dong-Won at Hyundai Securities said the firm’s semiconductor business benefitted as memory chip prices soared on demand for high-powered mobile devices.

The strong result came despite a global recall of the Galaxy Note 7, after owners reported some devices overheating and bursting into flames, in a crisis that damaged the reputation of the world’s largest smartphone maker.

Strong sales of light-emitting diode screens for smartphones also contributed significantly to the earnings growth, analysts said.

The result was the largest since the third quarter of 2013 when the company reaped a 10.2 trillion won operating profit.

Fourth-quarter sales were estimated at 53 trillion won in the quarter, down 0.6 percent on year, Samsung said.



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