South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co said Friday that its profit rose 37 per cent in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier, thanks to strong demand for mobile phones and flat screens.
Net profit rose to 2.19 trillion won (2.2 billion dollars) while sales grew 19 per cent to 17.1 trillion won, Asia's leading electronics maker said.
The results, which beat analysts' estimates, came as the company faces a stagnating computer chip market, rising raw materials costs and uncertainty over the global economy in the wake of the US mortgage crisis, dpa reported.
Samsung, however, has sought to increase its competitive edge by improving its supply chain and establishing strategic positions in up-and-coming markets, it said.
Samsung is the world's leading maker of computer memory chips and flat screens and its second-leading producer of mobile phones, behind Nokia.
Samsung said its mobile phone sales rose by a third from a year earlier to 46.3 million devices, matching the sales of the previous quarter, when they hit a record.
Its sales of liquid crystal displays (LDCs) rose 53 per cent year-on-year to 4.34 trillion won, it added.
On Friday, Samsung announced with Sony Corp that they plan to invest 1.93 billion dollars in their joint venture, S-LCD Corp, to produce a new line of LCDs as global demand for the flat screens rises.
The new line would start operating in Tangjeong, South Korea, in the second quarter of 2009.