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Samsung sees 48% rise in Q1-17 earnings at $8.8 bn

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The Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rival and global memory chip leader said first-quarter operating profit was likely 9.9 trillion won (US$8.8 billion), compared with an average forecast of 9.4 trillion won from a Thomson Reuters survey of 18 analysts.

The strong comeback was a result of booming sales of memory chips and flat-panel displays, Samsung said. To give this some context, this would become Samsung's second highest quarterly operating profit ever, beaten only by its 10.16 trillion won (~$9.34 billion) in Q3 of 2013. He and Samsung have denied wrongdoing. The estimates for Q1 2017 reflect the strength Samsung is exhibiting in the market, despite the absence of flagship smartphones is the previous quarters.

That would be its best quarterly profit in nearly four years and shows a recovery from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

Greenpeace East Asia campaigner Jude Lee said (via BBC): "While we welcome this news, Samsung must share as soon as possible more detailed timelines on when it will implement its promises, as well as how it intends to change its production system to make sure this never happens again".

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Her close confidante Choi is also on trial for forcing top South Korean firms, including the tech giant, to "donate" almost US$70 million to non-profit foundations which she allegedly used for personal gain.

Nevertheless, the latest financial figures show how Samsung has managed to overcome all the obstacles after messing up with one of its flagship products past year.

Lee was arrested in February and appeared in a Seoul court on Friday. Not only are they seeing success in their own Exynos SoC, but continued business from Qualcomm for the upcoming Snapdragon 835 SoC has also added to this increase in profits. Last week, it presented and began taking preorders for its Galaxy S8, its first major smartphone launch since the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

Samsung has been facing various challenges since past year, including the suspended production of the Galaxy Note 7 phablet and the arrest of the firm's de facto head Lee Jae-young in line with the corruption scandal that led to the ouster of South Korea's president. A ruling is expected by late May.

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