Samsung tips huge jump in profit as heir to stand trial

Posted April 10, 2017

Samsung Electronics has reported a 48% jump in profits during the first three months of 2017, despite challenges around the failure of its Galaxy Note 7 handset a year ago.

The world's largest maker of smartphones reported a better-than-projected 48 percent rise in operating income to 9.9 trillion won ($8.7 billion) for the March quarter, fueled by robust sales of memory chips and displays.

Rising demand for memory chips and organic light-emitting diode screens helped to fuel a rise in sales to 50 trillion won in the quarter, compared with the 49.5 trillion won analysts expected.

Industry watchers said Samsung enjoyed sound performance on the back of the boom of the global chip industry, with some estimating the business posted an operating profit of 6 trillion won in the first quarter.

The scion of South Korea's Samsung business empire, Lee Jae-yong, appeared in court Friday to face trial for bribery and other charges. But the outlook for the Suwon, South Korea-based firm's mobile division got a boost last week after unveiling its newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S8.

That overshadowed Samsung reporting quarterly profit of almost $9 billion - its highest in more than three years - and the start of pre-orders in South Korea for its newest flagship smartphone.

Korea hails results of Trump-Xi talks
The U.S. airstrikes this week were aimed at a Syrian air base, but nearly certainly got the attention of another adversary - North Korea.

Lee has accepted the responsibility of making the payments; however, he has denied any wrongdoing, saying the business firm was put under pressure by Park's network to pay the huge sums to the non-governmental funds linked to the then-president.

LG Electronics is expecting a strong first quarter with operating profits rising 82.4 percent from a year ago. From the previous three-month period, the profit increased 7.38 percent.

"Generally speaking I think the improved product mix in appliances and televisions and the company's efforts to sell high-end products lifted profits", HI Investment analyst Song Eun-jeong said. The company also beat market consensus of a profit around 587.3 billion won on sales of 14.4 trillion won.

The South Korean tech giant has just posted its earnings guidance for Q1, 2017 and it's anticipating big profits.

One of the favours Lee allegedly sought from president Park was state approval for a controversial merger of two Samsung units in 2015, seen as a key step to ensure a smooth transfer of power to him. The S8 was its first major smartphone launch since the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

The company is set to deliver the finalised earnings report later this month.