Samsung Electronics Co, the world's top technology firm by revenue, reported a record quarterly profit of $5.9 billion Friday, as rampant sales of its smartphones more than offset a tumble in memory chip prices.
The South Korean firm reported April-June operating profit of 6.72 trillion Korean won ($5.86 billion), in line with its earlier estimate of 6.7 trillion won and up 79 percent from a year ago, reported Reuters.
Samsung sold at least 50.5 million smartphones in the second quarter, stretching its lead over rival Apple Inc, a report by research firm StrategyAnalytics showed.
Samsung took 34.6 percent of the global smartphone market, while Apple, which suffered a 26 percent sequential plunge in smartphone sales, had 17.8 percent of the market after selling 26 million iPhones in the June quarter, the report said.
Nokia took the third spot with a 7.0 percent market share, selling 10.2 million smartphones.
"Despite a difficult business environment, we achieved stable profits in the second quarter through our differentiated products and competitive technology," Robert Yi, Samsung's senior vice president and head of investor relations, said in a statement reported by CNET. "As we move into the second half, continued fiscal instability in Europe and its effect on the global economy will result in the possibility of a slower-than-expected recovery and intensified market competition."
Samsung, which has a market capitalization of about $170 billion, credited its mobile business with delivering 63 percent of its operating profit in the quarter. Analysts estimate Samsung sold 52 million smartphones in the second quarter, including 6.5 million Galaxy S3s.
The record profits come in contrast to lower-than-expected iPhone sales Apple reported earlier in the week. Apple sold 26 million iPhones in its fiscal third quarter, while analysts had expected sales figures of 29 million.
Samsung's record numbers come out as the companies move closer to their high-stakes patent trial in the U.S., which is due to begin on Monday. Apple has accused Samsung of copying "the look and feel" of its iPad tablet and iPhone smartphone, and Samsung has filed a countersuit against Apple.
Samsung also competes with Sony Corp and LG Electronics Inc in TVs, Toshiba Corp and SK Hynix Semiconductor Inc in chips and LG Display in displays.
Shares in Samsung, the world's top TV maker, have climbed 9 percent so far this year, versus a 3 percent drop in the wider market.
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