Samsung Expects 48% Rise In Q1 Operating Profit

Reuters

"As long as Lee is locked up, it won't be easy for Samsung to restore its reputation completely", Koo Chang-hwan, chief of the Korea Reputation Center, said before Friday's hearing began. Its stock is up 16 percent this year through Thursday.

This would see profits increase 50pc on the performance during the same period in 2016.

LG Electronics also said its first-quarter operating profit is estimated at 921.5 billion won.

In recent weeks, the Korean tech giant unveiled its new flagship smartphone: the Samsung Galaxy S8.

The discontinuation of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in October previous year weakened Samsung's mobile phone business in recent months, but the company seemed to have overcome the debacle. The company has been able to push through and their forecast tells us that they're expecting to post a $8.8 billion profit for the first quarter of this year.

Samsung Electronics is on track to report record annual earnings, despite its de-facto boss going on trial in a political corruption scandal.

Her close confidante Choi is also in custody and on trial for forcing top local firms including the tech giant to "donate" almost $70 million to non-profit foundations which she allegedly used for personal gain. The independent counsel who twice sought to arrest Lee during his 90-day investigation into the corruption scandal that led to impeachment of Park Geun-hye also appeared in court on Friday.

Choi, a former Samsung Group vice-chairman considered a mentor to Lee, left the conglomerate on March 1 after it dismantled its corporate strategy office - a nerve centre long considered an instrument for the founding Lee family's management of the companies.

Samsung will deliver the official results later this month.

Special Prosecutor Park Young-Soo said in his opening statement that Lee's case is "one of the most deep-rooted and typical cases involving unhealthy relations between politicians and businessmen". This is due to strong memory chip sales.

The biggest earner, though, was Samsung's semiconductor business, which South Korean analysts say pulled in more than 6 trillion won ($5.2 billion) in profit. It beat market expectations of about 9.4 trillion won.

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