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

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.

Despite the predicted year-on-year profit increase, however, it looks like sales will be essentially flat: Samsung's Q1 2016 revenue was 49.78 trillion won.

At its unveiling in NY last month, the large-screened Galaxy S8, which incorporates a native virtual assistant, won widespread praise.

Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong denied on Friday bribery allegations at his first court hearing in connection to the influence-peddling scandal that end of previous year lead to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, state media reported.

Billionaire vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong was arrested in February as part of a corruption scandal that has led to the impeachment of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Samsung's plans to refurbish the Galaxy Note 7 for emerging markets will seemingly come with a major advantage over the original model... beyond the whole not catching fire thing.

Samsung has not had a new flagship smartphone on the shelves ever since it stopped production of the Note7 in October after replacement phones shipped by the company were also found in some cases to have the battery issue.

The Seoul district court is expected to give its ruling in May.

The first-quarter operating profit was above the market's earlier estimate of 9.43 trillion won, compiled by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap news agency.

The company did not elaborate on its performance and will disclose detailed earnings in late April.

Still, given the excitement surrounding the soon-to-launch Galaxy S8, could see this strong fiscal result become only the beginning of a booming year for the company.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are all set to be released later this month.

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.

Prosecutors allege 48-year-old Mr Lee used more than £30m in company funds to bribe Ms Park to help ensure a smooth leadership transition at Samsung after his father suffered a heart attack in 2014.

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