Samsung's profits soared in its second quarter thanks to stronger than expected sales of its Galaxy S3 smartphone, despite parts supply problems and issues with maintaining stock levels at retailers. The South Korean firm's other businesses struggled however, with its chips and consumer electronics businesses feeling the economic pinch in Europe.
All told, Samsung's operating profit for the second quarter period is estimated to hit 6.7 trillion Won ($5.9bn), a 79% increase over the same quarter last year. Revenue is expected to hit 47 trillion Won ($41.4bn) for the period, slightly below analysts' estimates of 50 trillion Won.
The company's full second quarter results will be released towards the end of the month but it's expected to reveal Samsung sold around 50 million handsets, with its flagship Galaxy S3 expected to hit 19 million during the April to June period.
"Our smartphones are flying off the shelves, with some outlets reporting 40% to 60% sales growth, but that's distorting the overall trading outlook, which is more challenging due to the weak global economy and a weak euro," said one unnamed executive speaking to the Telegraph.
Whilst the handset business looks stronger than ever, the dire situation the firm is experiencing in the EU marketplace due to the Euro zone crisis, weak prices, demand, as well as an even weaker Euro is further highlighted by the announcement that it's operating to a contingency plan.
"Europe is our biggest consumer electronics market and we may have to initiate cost cuts and product price increases should the euro fall further from the current level," the Telegraph's source said.
Apple is likely to continue with last year's release cycle and announce its next-generation smartphone later this year, which will impact handset sales. But Samsung will also enjoy heightened demand for its chips as a supplier for iPhone and iPad products. They also supply Apple with memory chips, NAND flash and displays.