Seoul, April 26 (IANS) Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of handsets, memory chips and flat screens, said Friday that its operating profit surged in the first quarter on the back of solid demand for its Galaxy smartphones.
Operating profit rose 54.32 percent from a year earlier to 8.78 trillion won ($7.92 billion) in the first quarter, according to an e-mailed statement. The reading was nearly the same as the previous record high of 8.84 trillion won tallied in the fourth quarter of 2012, reported Xinhua.
Sales increased 16.78 percent to 52.87 trillion won, and net income gained 41.73 percent to 7.15 trillion won over the cited period.
The IT & Mobile Communications (IM) division, which makes handsets, logged an operating profit of 6.51 trillion won, accounting for more than 70 percent of the total. Revenue increased 7 percent from three months earlier to 32.82 trillion won.
Samsung was estimated to sell around 70 million smartphones during the quarter.
Market watchers forecast that Samsung’s second-quarter earnings would reach a fresh record high thanks to demand for its new flagship model Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy S4, equipped with high-quality features, was launched for the first time in Seoul Friday. Samsung planned to roll out the Galaxy smartphone via 327 wireless carriers, including AT&T, Vodafone and Telefonica, in 155 countries during the second quarter.