Samsung Electronics flagged a 23% rise in second-quarter operating profit on Tuesday, beating analysts’ estimates on solid chip sales to data centres catering for a work-from-home economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
The sales offset weak demand for smartphones and TVs, while one-off gains from its display business, which counts Apple as a customer, also boosted profits, the company said. It gave no further details.
The world’s top memory chip and smartphone maker said operating profit was likely 8.1-trillion won (US$6.8-billion) in the quarter ended June, far above the 6.4-trillion won analyst forecast by Refinitiv SmartEstimate. It would be the highest quarterly profit since the fourth quarter of 2018.
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Revenue likely fell 7% to 52-trillion won from a year earlier, Samsung added, giving only limited data in a regulatory filing ahead of its full earnings figures later this month.
Work-from-home orders and growth in online learning are underpinning chip demand amid the Covid-19 pandemic and pushing up DRAM memory chip prices. US DRAM supplier Micron Technology forecast strong quarterly revenue last month.
“Chip demand was stronger than expected due to Covid-19,” said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.