​Samsung expects second-highest profits for first quarter

Samsung Electronics is expecting operating profits of 9.9 trillion won for the first quarter of 2017, its second-highest quarterly profit, thanks to strong performance from its chip business and despite the absence of the Galaxy Note 7.

Samsung Electronics expects an operating profit of 9.9 trillion won ($8.8 billion) and sales of 50 trillion won for the first quarter of the year, the company has said in its preliminary earnings guidance.

The operating profit is the firm's second-highest for a quarter and a rise of 48.2 percent compared to a year earlier. It marks a jump of 7.38 percent compared to the previous quarter's 9.22 trillion won.

The company's highest was 10.1 trillion won it posted for Q3 2013.

Despite the setback from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, the mobile division is expected to have contributed around 2 trillion won thanks to steady sales of the Galaxy S7 series.

Its display business is estimated to have contributed 1 trillion won on strong demand for LCD panels in China.

South Korea analysts estimate that the chip business likely contributed over 6 trillion won in profits.

Analysts also expect Samsung to post even higher profits in the second quarter, likely a record, due to the launch of the Galaxy S8 and continued demand for its semiconductors.

Samsung is seeing strong demand for its DRAM and NAND flash chips. The Korean tech giant produces 18-nanometer DRAMs and 3D NANDs, which are in high demand from smartphone makers who are upping their specs.

Demand from Chinese vendors, who are putting in 6GB RAMs in their flagship models, is one of the main drivers of growth.

The official earnings report will be announced at the end of the month.

Samsung begins pre-orders for its latest flagship phone on Friday.

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