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By Woo Jae-yeon
SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday reported its best first-quarter earnings in four years on the back of solid chip and mobile demand.
The world's largest memory chip and mobile phone maker said its operating profit rose more than 50 percent to 14.1 trillion won (US$11.1 billion) year-over-year in a regulatory filing.
Its January-March operating income beat the market consensus of 13.2 trillion won from a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency.
Sales increased 18.9 percent on-year to 77.7 trillion won in the first quarter, the all-time quarterly record and the third consecutive quarter that the tech giant has logged more than 70 trillion won in quarterly sales.
Prices of memory chips, which support a great portion of Samsung's top and bottom lines, held up better than expected.
The company said its memory business logged 26.87 trillion won in sales, a record-high in quarterly sales in the first three months of this year. The sector earned 8.45 trillion won in operating profit, about 60 percent of its total quarterly profit.
The memory price declined less than previously expected thanks to solid chip demand used in servers and PCs, Samsung said.
Its foundry, or contract chip manufacturing, business achieved its highest-ever first quarter sales, as demand was solid from all applications and yields of the advanced process have improved.
The mobile and network businesses posted 32.37 trillion won in sales and 3.82 trillion won in operating profit.
The mobile business saw growth in terms of sales and profitability from the previous quarter, thanks to the success of its latest flagship Galaxy S22 series launched in late February, Samsung said.
But its TV business shrank in the first quarter amid sluggish demand for TVs, caused by geopolitical risks involving Russia and Ukraine and the lifting of pandemic restrictions in many countries.
In March, Samsung suspended product shipments to Russia due to major disruptions in global logistics in the region. But its TV factory in Kaluga, southwest of Moscow, is in normal operation, Samsung said.
In the display sector, business has improved from a year ago, driven by strong premium products, including Neo QLED TVs, according to the company. Its home appliances business logged record quarterly sales helped by premium BESPOKE products.
The tech giant also said its performance was partly helped by the weak Korean won.
Looking ahead, Samsung warned of macroeconomic uncertainties and logistics issues. But it expected chip demand to remain relatively strong, driven by continued demand for advanced chips used in servers and mobile phones.
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