Samsung Electronics expects record $12.8bn Q3 operating profit

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Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd estimated on Friday its third-quarter operating profit almost tripled from a year earlier, beating expectations as strong memory chip prices likely padded margins.

"The company has been riding a global semiconductor boom", he said, adding the semiconductor business alone is believed to have contributed 10 out of the 14.5 trillion won operating profit. So strong is this demand that Samsung, the world's leading flash memory maker, has been able to secure both high prices and high volumes for its flash products, with some analysts estimating a profit margin of nearly 50 percent.

The company is set to release its final earnings report later this month.

The operating profit figure came in line with the market's consensus of 14.3 trillion won, compiled by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency on 21 local brokerage houses.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday its CEO and Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun had chose to step down from management, as it forecast record third-quarter profits on the back of soaring memory chip prices.

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He cemented Samsung Electronics' position in memory chips and expanded the contract chip manufacturing business.

The consumer electronics division will also benefit from strong seasonal demand, he added.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is now behind bars after a local court found him guilty of bribery and embezzlement in a massive corruption scandal that led to the ousting of former President Park Geun-hye.

The surprise resignation comes as Kwon was expected to take a bigger role following the arrest of Samsung Group scion and heir apparent Jay Y. Lee in February on bribery charges, and the departures of other key executives. Lee was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted in August of bribing South Korea's former president to help him increase his power over the company.

Shares in Samsung Electronics were trading down 0.77 percent on heavy profit taking in mid-morning trade.

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