South Korea’s Samsung Electronics said yesterday net profit almost doubled to a record 6.6 trillion won (US$5.97 billion) in the third quarter, powered by strong smartphone sales and huge demand for display panels.
The world’s largest technology firm by revenue also saw a record operating profit in July-September of 8.12 trillion won, up 91 percent from the same period last year.
Samsung said its mobile communications business took in 26.25 trillion won in revenue for the quarter, accounting for more than half the company’s total.
“The business environment remained difficult, with global economic uncertainties persisting amid the fiscal concerns in the US and Europe,” Samsung senior vice president Robert Yi said. “However, we continued to break our quarterly profit records.”
The third quarter net profit figure was well up from the 3.4 trillion won net profit posted a year ago and beat the previous record of 5.19 trillion won set in April-June.
Sales surged 26.4 percent on-year to an all-time high of 52.2 trillion won.
Despite the record profits, Samsung shares fell 2.65 percent to close at 1.287 million won.
Analysts expect the technology giant to see a marginal fall in income in the final quarter, as sales to retailers peak in the third quarter ahead of the holiday season and technology companies ramp up spending on marketing for the year-end rush.
However, they said Samsung’s telecoms business will continue to drive profit with its latest offerings of high-end mobile products, such as its flagship Galaxy S III smartphone.
The company said its display panel business helped drive its record, with a 1.1 trillion won operating profit in the third quarter, compared with a 90 billion won loss the previous year.
Increasing demand for panels for smartphones and other high value-added products, such as LED panels for TVs and LCD panels for tablets, offset weak demand for laptop and monitor panels.
According to research firm IDC, Samsung sold 56.3 million smartphones in July-September, representing 31.3 percent of the global market, more than twice the 15 percent share taken by Apple.
On top of the competition for the smartphone sector, the firms are also tussling over the tablet market. Samsung launched the Galaxy Note II at the end of last month and this week Apple unveiled the iPad Mini.