Samsung says Q1 profit likely soared 44%

Growing demand for smartphones and TVs looks set to drive Samsung's first quarter earnings up 44%.

The South Korean tech giant forecast a January to March operating profit of 9.3 trillion won- or $8.32 billion- in line with forecasts.

Analysts said Samsung's mobile division likely saw operating profit soar after its flagship Galaxy S21 smartphone series outsold the previous version by a two-to-one margin in the six weeks since its January launch.

They also predict that profit in Samsung's TV and home appliance business more than doubled due to continued stay-at-home demand.

In its chip division, profits are expected to fall 20% due to the cost of ramping up domestic production to meet soaring demand.

Samsung has also faced losses at its Texas plant following an unprecedented storm back in mid February.

The firm is expected to ramp up investment in its chip contract manufacturing business this year to nearly $9 billion.

Rival LG Electronics also announced its largest-ever preliminary quarterly operating profit for Q1 on Wednesday (April 7).