Bumper profits, new phone and its chief on trial — Samsung's insane day

Eloi Lecerf
Abril 19, 2017

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, dressed in the dark, gray suit and handcuffed, appeared in the Seoul Central District Court.

Stakes in the trial are high for both sides, since it involves the princeling of South Korea's richest family.

Lee sought Park's help in maximizing his control of the Samsung companies at the lowest possible cost, he added. Not only is this huge for Samsung, but it's also more than analysts expected them to bring in.

Samsung's donation to the Choi-controlled foundations is suspected of being made in return for getting support in the merger of two Samsung affiliates in July 2015.

Beyond confirming personal details such as his name and occupation, Lee remained silent when the judge asked if he had anything to say in response to the charges he faces.

The company did not elaborate on its performance and will disclose detailed earnings in late April.

The South Korean brokerage houses have estimated that the sales of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus would be around 43 to 60 million units this year.

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Over at Samsung headquarters meanwhile, the company reported preliminary operating profit of 9.9 trillion won ($8.7 billion) for the first quarter of 2017, a jump of nearly 50% from a year ago. The result was higher than the market expectations.

The smartphone was unveiled last week and is due to go on sale next month.

The forecast puts the company back in the game for record annual earnings, fastly recovering from last year's bump with the fire-catching Galaxy Note 7, which cost the company $5.3 billion in operating profit.

Investors and analysts expect Samsung to report its best quarterly profit in April-June, with the Galaxy S8 smartphone hitting the market on April 21 in Samsung's first premium device launch since the Note7's withdrawal in October.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 boasts a number of high-end features, and received rave reviews for its display, which one research firm rates as the best-ever on a smartphone.

In this March 24, 2017 photo, a woman walks past a logo of Samsung Electronics in Seoul, South Korea. Last month, Samsung announced plans to sell refurbished versions of the Note 7 that were previously taken off the shelves because of fears over their explosion-prone batteries.

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