Samsung profit leap despite ′galactic explosion′ | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 24.01.2017
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Samsung profit leap despite 'galactic explosion'

Samsung Electronics has reported a steep rise in both operating profit and net earnings for the final quarter of last year. The strong results came as the firm battled with the aftermath of its Galaxy Note 7 disaster.

Samsung Electronics' operating profit soared by 50.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 despite the humiliating Galaxy Note 7 recall that hammered the reputation of the world's largest smartphone maker.

The South Koreans were forced to discontinue the Galaxy Note 7 in October after a chaotic recall that saw replacement devices also catching fire or exploding. In total, 3.1 million smartphones were taken back as authorities in the US and elsewhere banned them from use on planes and even from being placed in checked luggage.

Despite the disaster, Q4 net earnings rose by a staggering 120 percent year on year, mostly due to strong results in the chip-making segment.

Chips in high demand

Earnings were "driven by the components businesses, mainly the memory business and the display panel segment," a company statement said, with the stronger US dollar also boosting profits.

Analysts said memory chip prices had risen due to stronger demand as Chinese smartphone makers released devices with high-resolution cameras and bigger storage in a bid to catch up with Apple and Samsung itself.

On top of the trouble caused by the Galaxy Note 7 recall, Samsung has separately been caught up in a wide-ranging political corruption scandal, with prosecutors seeking the arrest of Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.

hg/jd (AFP, Reuters)

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