LIFE

Samsung soars despite scandals

SAMSUNG SOARS DESPITE SCANDALS

South Korean tech giant forecasts highest-ever quarterly profit of $12.1B

Samsung Electronics announced Friday it is set to post a new record quarterly operating profit of 14 trillion won ($12.1 billion).

The estimate is up more than 70 percent from last year's second quarter even though the company has had major crises to overcome.

Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has been behind bars since February as he is on trial for alleged links to a massive presidential office power abuse scandal.

Moreover, the company's mobile image was dented by last year's abandonment of its Galaxy Note 7 model due to a fire hazard.

But Samsung's Galaxy S8 has been a worldwide hit, selling a reported 20 million units, while booming demand for memory chips is also believed to have driven the company's highest-ever quarterly sales worth 60 trillion won ($52 billion) between April and June.

Local analysts are expecting Samsung's performance to remain strong throughout the year, but a company insider told Yonhap News Agency its leadership vacuum might not have been properly reflected yet.

"The latest robust performance was made possible by group-wide investment made in the past," the Samsung official was quoted as saying.

Before his imprisonment, Vice Chairman Lee had looked set to take control from his ailing father Lee Kun-hee, who has been hospitalized for more than three years.

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