Samsung's first-quarter operating profit soars, posts highest results since 2013

10 April, 2017, 02:37 | Author: Delbert Rhodes
  • Samsung tips 48 percent jump in 1Q profit

Samsung's earnings preview comes as its de facto leader stands trial on corruption charges linked to the scandal that led to impeachment of the country's president.

Four other Samsung executives have also been charged.

Lee is "the biggest beneficiary who reaped enormous profits", said special prosecutor Yang Jae-sik, according to a media pool report.

"The Choi case has left a deep scar in history but it has also provided momentum to re-establish the rule of laws by dint of people's power", the prosecutor said.

But neither of those issues appear to be weighing on the South Korean tech giant's fortunes.

Lee's defence lawyers however said the payments to the Choi were charitable contributions for sports and culture development that Samsung was obliged to make under pressure from officials, and not bribes. 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.

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The verdict is expected to be delivered in late May. Prosecutors allege the money was given to obtain government backing for a contentious merger of two Samsung companies in 2015 that served as a key step in passing corporate control to Lee from his ailing father.

"No requests were made for policy favours in return for bribes".

For Samsung, a conviction could hurt Lee's stature as future leader of the company founded by his grandfather. "Do you know what will happen to the company if the president keeps getting angry?" former Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin quoted Jay Y. Lee as saying, in a document presented by the prosecution.

While South Korean tech juggernaut Samsung's future may rest on the success of its sparkly new Galaxy S8 smartphone, compatriot LG announced on Friday that its estimated first-quarter operating profit rose 82 per cent to its highest in almost eight years.

The groups have increasingly become objects of public scorn as criticisms mount over their management practices, including rapid promotions for family members - some of whose antics have battered the firms' reputations.

The scandal engulfed Park's administration, prompted millions of South Koreans to regularly protest in the streets and culminated in Park's ousting in March.

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