Samsung surprises with third-quarter profit forecast

Samsung logo Image copyright David Becker
Image caption Strong sales in its chip business has made up for the weakness in its smartphone sales, say analysts

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics expects its third-quarter operating profit to beat market forecasts on the back of strong semiconductor sales.

It forecasts that operating profit jumped nearly 80% from a year ago to 7.3 trillion won ($6.29bn; £4.13bn).

The guidance figures for the three months to September exceeded analysts' expectations of about 6.8tn won.

The amount would mark the firm's first quarterly profit growth in two years.

The world's biggest smartphone maker has been facing stiff competition for its premium smartphones from rival Apple, while cheaper Chinese competitors such as Xiaomi continue to eat into its market share on the bottom end.

Analysts said stronger sales in its chip business and favourable currency exchange rates had offset the weakness in its mobile business.

Samsung is also the world's biggest maker of memory chips and its semiconductor unit is expected to be its top earner for the fifth consecutive quarter.

A weaker won has made the firm's products cheaper to buy overseas and helps boost its bottom line when it repatriates its earnings.

Samsung expects its sales to have risen by 7.5% to 51tn won in the same time period.

Seoul-listed shares of Samsung jumped nearly 9% after the positive earnings guidance.

The guidance release does not include a breakdown of results in its various divisions or a net income figure. Its final audited results are due out later this month.

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