South Korea's Samsung breaks sales, profit records


Samsung also said its net profit soared 89 percent year-on-year to reach 11 trillion won ($9.88 billion) - a trillion won higher than estimated by Yonhap Infomax. The chips unit posted 8 trillion won ($7.2 billion) in operating profit, or almost half the group's total.

While Mr Lee and Ms Park battle allegations of bribery and other charges, Samsung is thriving thanks to tiny microchips called DRAM and NAND memory chips, which are needed to store and process data in servers and mobile devices.

This strong demand did lead to Samsung paying higher component costs but there was still a large increase in the earnings of its mobile division thanks to the release of the new Galaxy S8 and S8+. That demand, coupled with a tight supply, has seen the price of memory chips shoot up over the previous year, bringing an unprecedented level of profitability to suppliers such as Samsung.

The company said it saw increased global sales of its flagship Galaxy S8 handset, while its middle and low-end smartphone sales declined.

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Though Samsung is the world's leading smartphone maker, it was bumper demand for memory chips that drove the company's earnings to new heights. Analysts expect the iPhone maker to report revenue of $44.9 billion and an operating profit of $10.5 billion, according to Reuters and Bloomberg data.

For Samsung Electronics as a whole, Q2 profit was $12.68 billion on sales of $54.8 billion.

The Journal said Apple has a projected net income of $8.2 billion for the three-month period, in what is traditionally a weaker quarter for the world's most-valuable company. Samsung has said it plans to spend $18 billion in the next four years to expand memory chip production capacity at its South Korean plants.

For the mobile business, revenue increased 11 percent to 29 trillion won but profit fell by 3 billion won to 4 trillion won. The rising use of vehicle connectivity and the "internet of things" is expected to drive still further demand for the chips that have helped Samsung move ahead, at least for now.