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Samsung posts record $5.9-billion profit on smartphones

A saleswoman wipes the surface of Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone, released by Japan's largest mobile carrier NTT Docomo Inc, at an electronics store in Tokyo on June 28, 2012.

Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

Samsung Electronics Co., the world's top technology firm by revenue, reported a record quarterly profit of $5.9-billion (U.S.) on 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 U.S.), in line with its earlier estimate of 6.7-trillion won and up 79 per cent from a year ago.

Samsung, which earlier this year ended Nokia's 14-year reign as the top global handset maker, did not break out its second-quarter smartphone shipments. But analysts said they expected it to have further widened its gap with Nokia and Apple.

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Apple shipped 26 million iPhones in the June quarter, fewer than in the previous quarter and well below the 28-29 million that Wall Street had predicted. Samsung is estimated to have increased sales to around 50 million.

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 per cent so far this year, versus a 3-per-cent drop in the wider market.

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