Samsung reports record $8.76 bn quarterly operating profit

If the global chip business continues to post robust performances, Samsung's annual operating profit may hover far above 40 trillion won this year coupled with smartphone sales, they added. The Korean tech giant posted its earnings estimate for the first quarter of this year, with sales amounting to 50 trillion won, or roughly 44 billion US dollars.

SEOUL, April 7 South Korea's LG Electronics Inc estimated on Friday its first-quarter operating profit rose 82 percent from a year earlier, beating market expectations on healthy sales of appliances and televisions. Some researchers believe the smartphone will set a new first-year sales record.

Memory chips and flexible displays accounted for about 68 percent of Samsung's operating profit in the final quarter of 2016.

Lee Jae-Yong (R), the vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, is escorted by prison guards as he arrives at the Seoul Central District Court for his trial in Seoul on April 7, 2017.

Samsung has released its Q1 2017 estimates a week after unveiling its 2017 flagship smartphones i.e. the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ at its "Unpacked" event in NY. That display may also make its way onto Apple's next iPhone later this year, with the company reported to have placed an order for about 160 million OLED panels from Samsung Display.

Mr Lee, who appeared in court in handcuffs, has denied the bribery allegations, saying Samsung was coerced into handing over the funds.

It was only a few weeks ago that Samsung confirmed the ongoing rumors that it would release the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 on the world once again as a refurbished device.

Growing demand for more firepower from devices such as smartphones and servers have also helped push up margins for Samsung and its rivals in recent quarters.

Lee, who was arrested in February, has been charged with paying almost US$40 million to the now-impeached president's close friend Choi Soon-Sil, allegedly as bribes to secure policy favours.

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