Samsung's Q1 profit soars; expects an even better Q2

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said today that net profit surged in the first quarter amid strong demand and higher prices for computer memory chips.

The South Korean company said it earned 3.99 trillion won ($3.59 billion) in the three months ended 31 March. It recorded net profit of 580 billion won the year before.

Samsung, the world's top maker of memory chips and flat screen TVs, forecast record results for the second quarter as well amid plans to sharply boost spending, betting on still strong demand in the second half.

Samsung said sales in the first quarter totalled 34.64 trillion won. That was 20.8 per cent higher than the 28.67 trillion won reported a year earlier.

Samsung is the world's largest manufacturer of computer memory chips, flat screen televisions and liquid crystal displays. It ranks No 2 in mobile phones behind Finland's Nokia Corp.

Samsung manufactures both DRAM, or dynamic random access memory, chips and NAND flash memory chips. DRAM chips are used mostly in personal computers, while NAND are used in devices such as digital cameras, music players and smart phones.