Samsung Elec's Q1 OP near $9 bn on strong chip sales

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Samsung Electronics has forecast a 48 per cent rise in rise in profits to $8.8bn (9.9 trillion Korean won) in the first quarter of the current year (January-March 2017), thanks to strong memory chip sales.

Revenue for the quarter likely rose 9.7 percent to 14.7 trillion won, the firm said.

Over at Samsung headquarters meanwhile, the company reported preliminary operating profit of 9.9 trillion won ($8.7 billion) for the first quarter of 2017, a jump of nearly 50% from a year ago.

Anticipation of the tech giant's good news also caused shares to hit to a record high of 2.134 million won towards the end of March, though actual sales figures are not expected to be released until the end of April.

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Late last month, Samsung unveiled its latest flagship handset, the Galaxy S8, which analysts believe could give the company's mobile business a boost over the next few quarters. We already have evidence of the same in the form of previous quarterly reports, where these businesses contribute about 68 percent to the overall operating profit. Previously, the smartphone business was the company's main contributor.

Her close confidante Choi is also on trial for forcing top South Korean firms, including the tech giant, to "donate" almost US$70 million to non-profit foundations which she allegedly used for personal gain. Samsung was forced to recall it late a year ago after reports of the device overheating and exploding.

Samsung's sales are reported to account for up to one-fifth of South Korea's GDP. Now, the company has launched the second phone in the C series, the Galaxy C7 Pro which is just 7mm slim and has a full metal body design.

The scandal involves Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee and several top executives accused of bribery and embezzlement. He denies any wrongdoing. The date seen on the phone's lock screen indicates that the pictures were taken Friday, April 7th, and the specs state that it's running a build of Android 7.0 from February 2017 - well after Samsung issued a global recall of the Note 7.

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