South Korean telecoms giant Samsung Electronics Q1 profits jump by 50%

The world’s biggest South Korean telecoms giant Samsung Electronics maker of memory chips and the flagship subsidiary of the sprawling Samsung group strong demand for memory chips and its latest high-end smartphone.

Net profit for January-March rose 52 percent to 11.69 trillion won ($10.8 billion), up from 7.68 trillion won a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

The company faced an embarrassing global recall of the Galaxy Note 7 device over exploding batteries in 2016.

The semiconductor business posted solid earnings — 11.55 trillion won in operating profit on a 20.78 trillion won revenue — on strong demand for memory chips,” the company said in a statement.

Operating profit was a record 15.64 trillion won, in line with the estimate of 15.6 trillion won suggested in a preliminary guidance report earlier this month.

Traders cheered the news, with Samsung shares closing up 3.45 percent at 2.61 million won. Total sales grew 19.8 percent to 60.56 trillion won and Samsung said it expected the memory business to maintain its strong performance in the second quarter.

First-quarter operating margin was 25.8 percent, up 6.2 percentage points year on year.

Trading of shares in the South Korean tech behemoth will be suspended for three business days starting Monday for a 50-1 stock split, under which their face value will be lowered from 5,000 won to 100 won.

The firm overall business performance will be about the same as the first quarter,” said the analyst, projecting a 15.5 trillion won operating profit.

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