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Samsung's chip business boosts quarterly results

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The company on Friday announced estimated first-quarter operating profit of 9.9 trillion won, up 48.2 percent on year.

A refreshed focus on the Galaxy S7 was able to able to bring in some additional revenue for Samsung when we saw the company releasing additional color variants throughout the year.

Lee faces five charges that could entail at least five years in prison if he is found guilty.

The performance of Samsung's Galaxy S8 premium smartphone, which goes on sale on April 21, will be the key variable for Samsung going forward. From the previous quarter, the profit gained 7.38 percent.

The company has been under a cloud after its vice chairman Lee Jae-yong was arrested in February on charges of bribery, in connection with an investigation into an alleged corruption scandal that led to the ouster of South Korea's former President Park Geun-hye.

The success of Samsung's semiconductor business can be put down to strong demand for its DRAM and NAND flash memory chips from Chinese smartphone makers, which are now rolling out flagship models with up to 6 gigabytes of RAM.

The company's stock is trading near historic highs, despite Lee's troubles and the scrapping a year ago of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone due to fire-prone batteries.

It would mark the second-highest quarterly operating profit ever posted by Samsung.

The bribes are suspected of being given to Choi in return for getting support in the 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates, which is seen as extremely crucial to the younger Lee to inherit Samsung's management control from his ailing father.

In November last year, after dozens of devices across the world caught fire due to battery problems, sales in the third quarter of 2016 as a whole declined 14.2 per cent year on year, according to Gartner.

The company did not elaborate on its performance and will disclose detailed earnings in late April.

The South Korean firm's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone was plagued with problems.

The mobile phone unit is estimated to have generated almost 2 trillion won in operating profit for the first quarter, falling from 3.9 trillion won year-ago period but relatively decent when considering the discontinuation of Galaxy Note 7. Samsung is expected to have posted a sound operating profit from its chipmaking business, which may have reached a whopping 6 trillion won.

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