Samsung expects big jump in Q1 profits

In their guidance, Samsung also say they expect consolidated sales for Q1 2017 to reach approximately 50 trillion Korean won ($44.19 billion). A few months later, its de facto heir and several top executives were charged with crimes linked to a political scandal that toppled the country's president.

Operating profit is estimated at 9.9 trillion won (US$8.76 billion) in the January-March period, compared with 6.68 trillion won posted a year earlier. It beat market expectations of about 9.4 trillion won.

Its sales stayed almost flat at 50 trillion won ($44 billion).

Mr Lee's case is "one of the most deep-rooted and typical cases involving unhealthy relations between politicians and businessmen", said Special Prosecutor Park Young-Soo in his opening statement in Seoul's Central District Court.

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

Prosecutors believe the 48-year-old billionaire and his aides used Samsung corporate funds to bribe former President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante in exchange for supporting a smooth leadership transition at Samsung.

Lee was arrested back February after his first arrest warrant was rejected.

Millions of South Koreans taking part in weekly street rallies demanding Park's removal have also called for the arrest of the tycoons involved in the scandal, including the leaders of Hyundai, SK and Lotte. 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.

Friday was the first day people in South Korea could pre-order the Galaxy S8, Samsung's first major smartphone since the Note 7 fiasco. 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.

  • Carolyn Briggs