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Samsung Electronics to post first profit increase since 2013

The South Korean giant is predicting an operating profit of approximately 7.3 trillion won for the third quarter of 2015, which will be its first quarter increase year-on-year since Q3 2013.

Samsung has outlined its expected Q3 earnings, projecting an operating profit in the vicinity of 7.3 trillion won, a figure up 3 trillion won year-on-year.

The last time the South Korean tech giant experienced a profit increase was two years ago in Q3 2013; around the same time the Galaxy Gear smartwatch was first released.

Whilst Samsung has posted an operating profit that kept them well in the black for each of the seven quarters that have since passed, Q3 2013 also remains the quarter with the company's largest profit, coming in at 10.1 trillion won.

For the third quarter 2014, Samsung posted an operating profit of 4 trillion won -- a significant 49 percent drop from the 8.24 trillion won it reported for the third quarter a year prior.

Samsung's Q2 2015 operating profit was at 6.9 trillion won, down 4 percent from the 7.19 trillion won profit it saw in Q2 2014.

Samsung had accurately predicted its Q2 profit result prior to the official release of its earnings.

Wednesday's estimate, which comes ahead of audited results, did not provide a net income figure. Whilst it also did not include a breakdown of divisional earnings, the technology giant did forecast 51 trillion won in sales.

In September, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), and Korea's central bank predicted that tech companies in the region should expect a "gloomy" third quarter when it comes to revenue.

FKI's business survey index, from a poll of 600 local companies, showed an overall negative outlook for six consecutive months. Analysts in Seoul estimated that meant trouble for Samsung and LG's third quarter numbers.

"The general consensus right now is that the third quarter earnings will be lower than the second quarter," said Jonathan Hwang, IT analyst at KDB Daewoo Research.

"The impact that Samsung's Galaxy S6 had on the second quarter is already fading. In the third quarter, we will see much less of an effect from that phone. Plus, they lowered prices which will eat into their profit margin.

"Samsung's earnings are better distributed among business divisions, such as semiconductors and components."

Both the Bank of Korea and FKI said the gloom from South Korean manufacturers was due to sluggish exports holding back factory activity. Demand for handsets is soft and currency devaluations across emerging markets are hurting too.

Earlier this week, Taiwanese smartphone giant HTC reported an operating loss of NT$5.1 billion for the three months ending June 30, with an operating margin of negative 15.6 percent.

HTC attributed its second quarter loss to weak high-end demand, which it said was consistent with the current Android Market.