Samsung heads for best quarterly profit in over 3 yrs, up 48%


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

The global memory-chip leader said first-quarter operating profit was likely 9.9 trillion won (S$12.2 billion), compared with an average forecast of 9.4 trillion won from a Thomson Reuters survey.

Anticipation of the tech giant's good news also caused shares to hit to a record high of 2.134 million won towards the end of March, though actual sales figures are not expected to be released until the end of April. Samsung was forced to recall it late past year after reports of the device overheating and exploding.

A week after the unveiling of the lovely Galaxy S8 and its unique "Infinity Display", Samsung follows things up with a phone that boasts another first for the brand: a model with 6GB of RAM, the Galaxy C9 Pro.

Indicating Samsung's improved profitability, the ratio of operating profit to revenue came in at 19.8 percent in the quarter, up 6.5 percentage points from a year earlier.

This is on top of the political scandal that has engulfed the entire country of South Korea too. The prosecution is trying to determine whether the donations were given as bribes in exchange for government support for the company's bid to enter the lucrative duty-free business. Even after the embarrassing recall of the company's last flagship device, the Galaxy Note 7, the S8 and its new embedded Bixby AI technology could set a new first year sales record for the company.

An issue that caused Samsung's own Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee to be arrested and he is now facing charges for bribing their former president Park Geun-hye.

The heir apparent of Samsung Group, the country's biggest family-controlled conglomerate, is accused of offering tens of millions of USA dollars in bribes to Choi, who was branded by prosecutors as a criminal accomplice to the impeached president. He denies any wrongdoing.