Samsung Electronics' operating profit increases by 10.7%

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​Seoul, Jan 24 (IANS) Samsung Electronics on Tuesday posted an operating profit of 29.2 trillion won ($25 billion) in 2016, up 10.7 per cent from the previous year, despite losses suffered by its mobile division due to the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

Samsung posted a fourth quarter operating profit of 9.2 trillion won ($7 billion), representing a year-on-year increase of 50.11 percent, thanks to gains from its semiconductor branch, Efe news reported.

This figure is also 77.34 per cent higher than that of the July-September quarter, when Samsung's operating profit was affected by incidents of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones exploding, and the subsequent recall of the model.

The fiasco caused the company an operating loss of 6.1 trillion won ($5 billion).

The South Korean tech giant achieved an annual net profit of 22.73 trillion won in 2016 ($19 billion), an increase of 19.2 per cent from 2015.

In the October-December quarter alone, net income was 7.09 trillion won ($6 billion), a year-on-year increase of 120.19 per cent, and 56.51 per cent higher than the third quarter of 2016.

"Fourth quarter earnings were driven by the components businesses, mainly the memory business and the display panel segment," Samsung said in a statement.

The company also highlighted the positive impact of a stronger US dollar against the Korean won.

Samsung said its fourth-quarter sales rose 0.3 per cent year on year to 53.3 trillion won, and also announced a share re-purchase worth about 9 trillion won ($7 billion).

Investors were pleased by the results, with Samsung's shares trading 0.37 per cent higher one hour after the morning session began on the Korea Stock Exchange.

The data released was a relief for Samsung following the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco and the company's involvement in the "female Rasputin" corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea.

The latter prompted prosecutors to request the arrest of Samsung Group's president and Samsung Electronics' vice president, Lee Jae-yong.

The court later ruled against the arrest warrant of the Samsung heir, allowing the country's largest family-run conglomerate to avoid another potential disaster.

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