SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Samsung Electronics, the world's largest maker of handsets, memory chips, televisions and flat screens, estimated Friday that its operating profit hit a new record quarterly high in the third quarter due mainly to brisk sales of Galaxy smartphones.
The preliminary Samsung operating profit was estimated at a fresh record high of 8.1 trillion won (7.29 billion U.S. dollars) in the July-September period, up 90.59 percent from a year earlier, and increasing 20.54 percent from three months before.
The figure was larger than the previous record high of 6.72 trillion won tallied in the prior quarter. Samsung saw its operating profit topping the previous high for four straight quarters.
Sales were estimated at 52 trillion won (46.8 billion dollars) in the three months ending Sept. 30, up 26 percent from a year before, and growing 9.24 percent from the prior quarter. The figure breached the previous record high of 47.3 trillion won recorded for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Samsung did not unveil its estimate for net profit and a breakdown of each division. The final results will be unveiled later this month after auditing and the approval of board of directors.
The earnings result was in line with market expectations as experts predicted the record-breaking earnings, citing solid demand for Galaxy smartphones. "We revised up our third-quarter earnings estimate for Samsung due to strong Galaxy S3 sales. In light of the robust sales of Galaxy S3, Samsung's smartphone shipment estimate for the third quarter was revised upwardly to 58 million units," James Song, an analyst at Daewoo Securities in Seoul, said in a report before the release.
Samsung said earlier last month that global Galaxy S3 sales topped the 20 million mark in just 100 days since its debut in May. The sales speed was three times faster than its predecessor Galaxy S2 and six times quicker than Galaxy S.
The patent lawsuit between Samsung and Apple resulted in a landslide victory for Apple, but it had little impact on Samsung's smartphone sales and earnings, market watchers said. Some even claimed that Galaxy S3 sales were boosted rather than hurt by the lawsuit.
According to the report by market research firm Localytics, Galaxy S3 sales spiked between Aug. 21 and Aug. 27, the week when the U.S. federal court jury ruled in favor of Apple. It indicated that Samsung actually benefitted from the news in terms of marketing.
"The unfavorable ruling may have a silver lining, especially with regard to marketing. By paying 1 trillion won in damages now, Samsung may have a chance to earn 10 trillion won in the future," said Song.
Experts forecast Samsung's operating profit would top the 7- trillion-won mark once again in the fourth quarter due to the launch of galaxy Note2. "Following the brisk sales of Galaxy S3, the successful launch of the Galaxy Note2 will help Samsung post solid smartphone sales in the fourth quarter despite the launch of Apple's iPhone5," said Shin Hyun-jun, an analyst at Dongbu Securities.