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Smartphone sales drive record Samsung quarterly profits

South Korea-based electronics giant credits its mobile division with delivering 63 percent of its $4.5 billion second-quarter net profit.

The Galaxy S3 propelled Samsung to record quarterly profits

Samsung Electronics, the world's largest consumer electronics maker, reported a record second-quarter net profit Friday on the continued strong sales of its smartphones.

The South Korea-based company said net profits for the three months ending June 30 rose to $4.5 billion, an increase of 48 percent over the year-ago period, in line with guidance the company gave earlier this month. Earnings rose 3 percent from the previous quarter but was lower than a market consensus of $4.8 billion.

"Despite a difficult business environment, we achieved stable profits in the second quarter through our differentiated products and competitive technology," Robert Yi, senior vice president and head of investor relations, said in a statement. "As we move into the second half, continued fiscal instability in Europe and its effect on the global economy will result in the possibility of a slower-than-expected recovery and intensified market competition."

Samsung, which has a market capitalization of about $170 billion, credited its mobile business with delivering 63 percent of its operating profit in the quarter. Analysts estimate Samsung sold 52 million smartphones in the second quarter, including 6.5 million Galaxy S3s.

The record profits come in contrast to lower-than-expected iPhone sales Apple reported earlier in the week. Apple sold 26 million iPhones in its fiscal third quarter, while analysts had expected sales figures of 29 million.

Samsung's record numbers come out as the companies move closer to their high-stakes patent trial in the U.S., which is due to begin on Monday. Apple has accused Samsung of copying "the look and feel" of its iPad tablet and iPhone smartphone, and Samsung has filed a countersuit against Apple.