Trial of Samsung scion starts Friday

The hefty profits highlight Samsung's resilience after the embarrassing recall of its fire-prone Note 7 smartphone a year ago.

Samsung has denied any wrongdoing and Lee, who was arrested in February, has pleaded not guilty.

The global memory chip leader said first-quarter operating profit was likely 9.9 trillion won (RM39.02 billion), compared with an average forecast of 9.4 trillion won from a Thomson Reuters survey of 18 analysts.

"In the course of providing bribes, Lee Jae-Yong embezzled company money, illegally diverted domestic assets overseas, hid illegally-earned incomes and committed perjury at parliament", the prosecutor said. Most analysts suggest that Samsung's chip and display business is continuing to perform better than expectations, they are booming, to say the least.

Although its IT and mobile business is presumed to have posted lackluster earnings on the suspension of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7, industry watchers said the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, which will hit shelves this month, will help the company recoup earnings down the road. The industry believes the memory chip market since the latter half of a year ago has entered a new super cycle, a period of an upturn as the result of replacements with high-performance memory in PCs and strong demand for mobile devices. This is double the number of Galaxy S7 sold past year in the first 3 months launch period. Samsung Electronics said Friday its first-quarter profit jumped 48 percent, a better-than-expected result that analysts believed to be driven by strong smartphone components.

While South Korean tech juggernaut Samsung's future may rest on the success of its sparkly new Galaxy S8 smartphone, compatriot LG announced on Friday that its estimated first-quarter operating profit rose 82 per cent to its highest in almost eight years. The Galaxy C7 Pro was launched in China in January this year, while the Galaxy C5 Pro was launched in China very recently - in March.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone was plagued with problems which caused the device to overheat and in some cases catch fire. Therefore, the flagship smartphones will not play any major role in the Q1 2017 forecasts from Samsung.

  • Leroy Wright