Samsung Sets Record For Smartphone Sales
Samsung has cemented its place as the world's leading smartphone seller after setting a record for the most units shipped in the third quarter.
The company sold 56.3 million smartphones, including its flagship Galaxy S III, in July-September, representing 31.3% of the global market - more than twice as much as rival Apple's 15% share.
Net profit for the South Korean firm doubled to a record 6.6trn won (£3.7bn) in Q3, powered by 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 8.12trn won (£4.6bn), up 91% from the same period last year.
Samsung said its mobile communications business took in 26.25trn won (£14.85bn) in Q3 revenue, 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 Q3 net profit figure was well up from the 3.4trn won (£1.92bn) net profit posted a year ago and beat the previous record of 5.19trn (£2.93bn) won set in April-June.
Total company sales surged 26.4% on-year to an all-time high of 52.2trn won (£29.54bn).
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 Christmas and technology firms ramp up spending on marketing for the year-end rush.
However, they said Samsung's telecommunications business will continue to drive profit with its latest offerings of high-end mobile products, such as its flagship Galaxy S III smartphone.
"We expect Samsung will deliver solid earnings growth with product leadership in the consumer branded business, smartphone and TV, and enhanced bargaining power in the component business, semiconductor and display panel," Citi said in a report.
However, Samsung shares were down over 2% at 1.287m won (£727) in early Friday trades.
The company said its display panel business helped drive its record in the quarter, compared to loss in the section the previous year.
Increasing demand for panels for smartphones and other high valued-added products, such as LED panels for TVs and LCD panels for tablets, offset weak demand for laptop and monitor panels.
Samsung's operating profits have risen every quarter since the first three months of 2011, as booming smartphone sales helped it leapfrog Apple as the world's biggest maker of the devices.
But its shares have been under pressure due to a long-running legal spat with the iPhone manufacturer.
Samsung was dealt a blow in late August when a US federal jury ruled that it infringed some of Apple's design and software patents and fined it more than $1bn (£620m). Samsung has appealed against the ruling.
The legal duel, being fought in around 10 countries, has mirrored an intense market battle between the Galaxy and iPhone. The pair is also tussling over the tablet market.
The South Korean firm launched the Galaxy Note II - the latest version of its oversized smartphone - at the end of September and this week Apple unveiled the iPad Mini.