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Samsung quarterly profit jumps 76 percent on Galaxy sales

South Korean electronics giant credits strong sales of smartphones and tablets for another quarter of record profits.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
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Steven Musil
2 min read
Samsung's Galaxy S3.
Samsung's Galaxy S3. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Electronics, the world's largest consumer electronics maker, said its fourth-quarter profit rose 76 percent to another record high on strong sales of Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

The South Korean electronics giant today reported a net profit of 7.04 trillion won ($6.6 billion), up from 4.01 trillion won in the same period a year earlier.

It was the fifth consecutive record quarterly profit for Samsung, which reported fourth-quarter sales of 56 trillion won ($52.6 billion), a 19 percent increase. Nearly half of that revenue came from its mobile communications division, particularly strong sales of its Galaxy S3 smartphone and Galaxy Note 2 phablet.

The results were slightly better than earnings guidance issued by the company earlier this month.

Samsung announced early this month that it had sold more than 100 million smartphones in the Galaxy series since its launch in May 2010, calling it "the driving force" behind the electronics maker's "rise to the top" in the global smartphone market.

"Despite uncertainties in Europe and concerns over the U.S. fiscal cliff creating a difficult business environment, we did our best this quarter to achieve strong earnings based on a strategic focus on differentiated and high value-added products as well as our technological competitiveness," Investor Relations chief Robert Yi said in a statement.

While its sales of LED TVs also helped boost earnings, Samsung said demand for home appliances declined due to what the company called the "tepid global economy." However, sales of high-end refrigerators and washers increased in the U.S. and Europe.

Samsung said demand was weak for PC DRAM during the quarter, while the semiconductor unit posted $8.97 billion in sales, a 10 percent increase quarter over quarter.

The company's memory chip business contributed $1.3 billion in operating profits, a 39 percent quarterly increase. However, the company also warned that demand for memory chips in the first quarter would be tempered by seasonably poor sales of PCs and mobile devices.

"Heading into this year, we are expecting a slow recovery in the component business due to reduced capital expenditures, while competition in the set business will intensify further as demand slows and the mid- to low-end market expands," Yi said.