Samsung posts $7.4 billion profit, handsets mask weak chip sales


Samsung Electronics Co, the world's top technology firm by revenue, reported record quarterly profit of $7.4 billion on Friday, with strong sales of its Galaxy range of phones masking sharply lower memory chip sales.

The South Korean firm said July-September operating profit increased 91 percent from a year ago to 8.12 trillion won ($7.39 billion), in line with its earlier estimate.

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Samsung, reporting its results just hours after main rival Apple Inc, did not detail its third-quarter smartphone shipments, though these are estimated to have soared to 58 million. Apple said it shipped 26.9 million iPhones in July-September [ID:nL1E8LPH8I] It launched its latest iPhone 5 on September 21.

Samsung also competes with Sony Corp and LG Electronics Inc in televisions, Toshiba Corp and SK Hynix Inc in chips, and LG Display in screens.

Shares in Samsung have climbed 24 percent so far this year, easily outpacing the benchmark KOSPI's 5 percent gain, but only half the gains made by Apple.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)