Samsung's profit up 26 per cent on memory chip, smartphone sales

Shipments for high-end smartphones were flat quarter-over-quarter for the company

Samsung Electronics' net profit in the third quarter was up 25.6 percent year-over-year on record revenue driven by sales of its memory chips and smartphone products.

The South Korean electronics giant reported a net profit of 8.24 trillion won ($US7.8 billion), up from 6.56 trillion won in the same period a year ago.

Revenue reached 59.08 trillion won, a year-over-year increase of 13 per cent, and meeting the company's forecast.

Samsung is currently the world's largest smartphone vendor. But during the quarter ended September 30, the company saw "intensifying market competition" in the mobile devices space, it said. Shipments of its high-end smartphones remained flat quarter-over-quarter, despite the release of the company's Galaxy Note 3 phablet in late September.

The company, however, saw shipments of its "mass market" handsets in the mid- and low-end segments increase quarter-over-quarter. "Overall, total smartphone shipments increased in the mid-10 percent range" from the previous three-month period, the company said.

Samsung's tablet business, however, is growing at a faster clip. Sales for the devices increased in the "mid-20 percent range" from the previous quarter, partly on demand for the Galaxy Tab 3 products.

The company expects both smartphones and tablets sales will pick up in this year's fourth quarter due to the holiday season and more of its "mass market" phones reaching the market.

Samsung's semiconductor business also reported big gains in its earnings, with revenue growing 12 percent quarter-over-quarter. Sales of the company's memory chips have been high from demand brought on by smartphones and tablets, servers, and game consoles.

But the company saw a one per cent quarter-over-quarter decrease in sales in its panel business. Weakening demand for TV display panels in Europe and China led to a decline in shipments and price. TV panel sales, however, will rebound in the fourth quarter due to the holiday season, Samsung said.

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Michael Kan

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