Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Strong memory chip demand drives up Samsung Elec Q1 profit

Strong memory chip demand drives up Samsung Elec Q1 profit

Its January-March operating income will be 9.9 trillion won ($8.8 billion), compared with 6.7 trillion won a year earlier, the South Korean company said in its earnings preview. The current record was set in the third quarter of 2013, when Samsung's operating profit hit 10.1 trillion won, Yonhup news agency reported.

Samsung's official earnings report will be announced at the end of this month. With the global chip market expected to grow as Chinese smartphone makers work up an appetite for high storage semiconductors, experts believe the quarters ahead will reap even bigger profits for the Korean company.

Samsung Electronics is headed for its best quarterly profit margin in three years, despite its deputy chairman going on trial over corruption allegations.

Samsung vice-chairman and de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, has appeared in court in South Korea to stand trial on bribery charges. Samsung scrapped its flagship smartphones previous year after they overheated and caught fire, leaving billions of dollars in financial damages and hurting its reputation.

Teen third WA shark fatality in a year
A beach on Western Australia's south coast, near Esperance , will remain closed today after a fatal shark attack . Her mother and two sisters watched helpless from the beach, according to reports, as the predator attacked.

Special Prosecutor Park Young-Soo said in his opening statement that Lee's case is "one of the most deep-rooted and typical cases involving unhealthy relations between politicians and businessmen". Lee is accused of funneling more than 38 million dollars to entities controlled by former President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil in exchange for support for a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates that was deemed critical to cementing Lee's succession to the top of Samsung Group.

Ousted president Park was thrown into jail last week after a court ordered her arrest in connection with the sweeping corruption scandal that brought millions of people onto the streets and saw her impeached.

Samsung has denied any wrongdoing and Lee, who was arrested in February, has pleaded not guilty. The mobile business is expected to turn out strong figures from the second quarter upon the release of Galaxy S8 series.

The smartphone was unveiled last week and is due to go on sale next month. The S8 was its first major smartphone launch since the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

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