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

LG Electronics Inc. said Friday its first-quarter operating profit is estimated at 922 billion won ($812.3 million), a market forecast-beating figure, apparently helped by robust sales of premium electronics coupled with reduced losses from the smartphone business.

The merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries was extremely important to the Samsung heir apparent to inherit management control from his ailing father Chairman Lee Kun-hee who has been hospitalized for nearly three years. This estimate is quite a rise from 6.68 trillion won (roughly $5.9 billion) overall operating profit Samsung reported in Q1 2016. The refurbished variant of last year's Galaxy Note 7 will carry the model number SM-N935 and it will arrive to a number of markets, but not the US.

Prosecutors believe the 48-year-old billionaire and his aides used Samsung corporate funds to bribe former President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante in exchange for supporting a smooth leadership transition at Samsung.

The good news for Samsung comes even in the wake of the explosive Galaxy Note 7 handsets and a political bribery and corruption scandal which is now on-going in South Korea.

Samsung has denied any wrongdoing and Lee, who was arrested in February, has pleaded not guilty.

With the pre-order for the Samsung Galaxy S8 already underway, one of its highly-anticipated accessories also became available via the same route. 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.

That would be its biggest Q1 profit ever, coming close to its overall profit record set in Q3 2013 and representing a almost 50 per cent increase on the same period a year ago when Samsung made 6.68 trillion won.

Now, the company's future earnings rely heavily on the success of its flagship duo Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, which will hit the shelves sometime in April.

Revenue likely rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier to 50 trillion won, Samsung said. The upgraded version of the Galaxy S8 Plus might go on sale outside those two countries as well.

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