Samsung (SSNLF.PK) is showing no signs of slowing down despite its increasingly bitter rivalry with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Korean company, now the world’s biggest seller of mobile phones and televisions, reported a record quarterly profit on Thursday that was beyond analysts’ expectations. To top it off, Samsung’s sales lead over the iPhone was widened on the back of the sustained popularity of its Galaxy smartphone line.
Samsung said its operating profit for the September-ending quarter grew 91 percent to 8.10 trillion won, or $7.3 billion. Analysts had expected the company to bring in 7.58 trillion won. Its mobile phone business was equally vibrant, registering a 93 percent growth in the quarter. Last month, the company announced sales of the Galaxy S III phone, which made its debut in May, had crossed 20 million units in the first 100 days after launch. Samsung is estimated to have shipped a total of 57.1 million smartphone units in the quarter, according to research firm Daishin Securities. It shipped 50.5 million units in the previous quarter.
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“Sales have been very, very good around the world despite the best efforts of Apple to restrain them,” Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Mark Newman told Bloomberg Television. “There’s a lot of growth left in the company, and I would think that it can go a lot higher.
While Apple won a jury verdict in August that ruled Samsung violated six of its patents, sales at the Korean company appear not to have been affected negatively. Apple also launched the latest version of the smartphone, the iPhone 5, last month, and the device’s debut weekend sales of more than 5 million units were short of analyst estimates.
Samsung’s mobile phone business as well as strong television sales also helped it overcome a slump in profit in its computer-memory chip business. Samsung is the world’s biggest maker of these chips, but profit at its semiconductor division fell 24 percent to 1.2 trillion won on sales of 9 trillion won. The company is also the biggest semiconductor supplier for Apple and the exclusive manufacturer of processors that run the iPhone.
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