Samsung reports 3rd-quarter profit surge on demand for chips

Middle school students try out Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S9+ smartphones at its shop in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. Samsung Electronics Co. has posted record operating profit for the last quarter with robust demand for its mainstay memory chips compensating for a slowdown in its smartphone business. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. has posted a record operating profit for the last quarter with robust demand for its mainstay memory chips compensating for a slowdown in its smartphone business.

The South Korean technology giant on Wednesday said its operating profit during the July-September quarter grew at nearly a 21 percent annual pace to 17.6 trillion won ($15.4 billion). Samsung’s previous high in quarterly profit was the 15.6 trillion won it posted during the first quarter.

Third-quarter sales grew 5.5 percent year-on-year to reach 65.4 trillion won ($57 billion) while net income rose 17.5 percent to reach 13.1 trillion won ($11.5 billion), the company said.

The operating profit of Samsung’s chips division rose 37 percent year-on-year to 13.65 trillion won ($11.9 billion) thanks to strong demand generated by mobile devices and servers. The operating profit for Samsung’s display panel business also saw a slight increase at 1.1 trillion won ($966 million).

However, operating profit for Samsung’s IT and mobile communications division, which covers smartphones, fell 32 percent on year-on-year to 2.22 trillion won ($1.9 billion) while sales declined 10 percent. Samsung said smartphone shipments stagnated during the period despite strong sales of its flagship Galaxy Note 9 devices because it was restructuring the lineup of its lower-cost handsets.

Samsung is the world’s largest maker of memory chips, smartphones and display panels.

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