SAMSUNG Electronics, the world leader in mobiles and memory chips, said it probably earned a quarterly profit of €6.1bn, as it sold close to 500 handsets a minute and demand picked up for the flat screens it makes for mobile devices, including those for rival Apple products.
Its run of five straight record quarters may end in January-March on weaker seasonal demand, though a strong pipeline of smartphones – the South Korean group's biggest earner – and improving chip prices have eased concerns that earnings growth could slow this year, powering Samsung shares to record levels last week.
Samsung said its October-December operating profit jumped 89pc to 8.8 trillion Korean won from a year ago. That is 8.6pc higher than its previous record of 8.1 trillion.
While Apple rolled out just a single new smartphone last year, Samsung bombarded the market with 37 variants tweaked for regional and consumer tastes.