Samsung sees record quarterly profit on chip demand

Samsung Electronics has reported a record quarterly profit thanks to surging global demand for memory chips. The South Korean tech giant reported an operating profit of 14 trillion won ($12bn; £9.3bn) in the three months to June, up 72% on a year earlier. Sales climbed 18% to 60 trillion won, buoyed by strong sales of smartphones including the new flagship Galaxy S8. Analysts say the results indicate Samsung has recovered from the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 recall. That handset was axed after a battery fault led to some devices catching fire. Also on Friday, Samsung launched a new phone in South Korea using parts from the Note 7 to “minimise the environmental impact” of its high-profile flop.

Some research firms predict that Samsung is set to overtake Intel as the world’s biggest chipmaker by sales this year. It has benefitted from both rising demand and prices for semiconductors, or memory chips, which are used in smartphones and computers. The Note 7 debacle damaged Samsung’s reputation and caused it to lose its position as the world’s biggest smartphone maker in the first quarter. Rivals such as Apple and China’s Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo gained market share following the recall. Samsung has also seen its image dented by the arrest and ongoing trial of de-facto chief Jay Y. Lee over a political bribery scandal. Mr Lee denies the charges.