South Korea's Samsung breaks sales, profit records

With leader jailed, Samsung reports record $9.7 billion profit

Another victor was the display panel unit, which saw operating profit jump twelvefold to 1.7 trillion won, topping 1 trillion won for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Mobile devices and data are the keys to understanding Samsung's ascent as the new industry leader, even as its de facto chief is jailed, battling corruption charges, and it recovers from a fiasco over Galaxy Note 7 smartphones that had to be axed previous year because they were prone to catch fire.

Wall Street Journal Samsung's massive earnings growth could top Apple's quarterly profits for the first time in history, a very good news for the South Korean tech giant indeed.

However, Greg Roh, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities, told AFP: "Samsung has surpassed its rivals for now but Apple usually sees little fluctuation in its profits whereas Samsung's profits fluctuate largely on memory chip prices".

The company revealed an operating profit of 14.1 trillion South Korean won ($12.67 billion).

Samsung shares ended down 0.08 percent in Seoul.

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Samsung said its record-high earnings were mainly buoyed by the booming chip market amid rising demand for storage products.

Revenue increased 19.76 percent from a year earlier to 61 trillion won in the second quarter, and net income soared 89.04 percent to 11.05 trillion won.

"The dovish statement from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) contributed to a rise of US shares overnight, which also had a positive impact on the Korean main bourse", said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

This month the firm said it will invest 20.4 trillion won by 2021 to expand and upgrade its chip plants in the South Korean cities of Pyeongtaek and Hwaseong.

The world's biggest maker of memory chips, smartphones and television sets is widely expected to break profit records for the full year, as better-than-forecast performance in its mobile business lifted quarterly operating profit slightly above its early-July guidance, analysts said. The company said that growth is slowing for products used in smartphones, but remains solid for servers.

"The increase in sales of iPhones will weaken profit in the mobile business but Samsung will supply more semiconductors and display panels to Apple and improve profit in the components part", he added.

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