Samsung Electronics-Q1 guidance

By Lee Minji

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's top maker of smartphones, memory chips and flat-panel TVs, estimated Friday it had posted an operating profit of 8.7 trillion won (US$7.7 billion) in the first quarter of this year.

The preliminary estimate represents a 52.9 percent increase from a revised operating profit of 5.7 trillion won a year earlier, Samsung said in a regulatory filing.

However, it marks a 1.6 percent decline from three months earlier when the tech behemoth posted a record quarterly operating profit of 8.8 trillion, buoyed by robust sales of its Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 smartphones.

Revenue in the January-March period was estimated at 52 trillion won, up 14.9 percent from the previous year, according to the company's earnings guidance, which did not provide break-down figures for each of its business units.

Samsung Electronics did not disclose its net profit estimate. The company is scheduled to announce its first-quarter earnings later this month.

While Samsung Electronics did not provide reasons for the on-year increase, analysts said strong smartphone sales drove up its bottom line despite seasonal doldrums in the electronics sector.

"While the first-quarter is traditionally a slow season, Galaxy S3 sales remained similar to the previous quarter's 14 million, and Galaxy Note 2 sales gained roughly 1 million to 9 million," KB Investment