Samsung tips huge jump in profit as heir to stand trial

For many months, Samsung (SSNLF) has been embroiled in a wave of bitter controversies ranging from corruption charges waged at senior management to the widespread Galaxy Note 7 recall.

The figure was nearly near to the company's biggest-ever operating profit of 10.16 trillion won tallied in the third quarter of 2013.

"As long as Lee is locked up, it won't be easy for Samsung to restore its reputation completely", Koo Chang-hwan, chief of the Korea Reputation Center, said before Friday's hearing began.

While some companies have been struggling financially for quite a bit now, Samsung has been able to hold strong over the last couple of years.

Samsung, the world's largest maker of smartphones and display panels, has unveiled the Galaxy S8 smartphone last week, which is set to go on sales later this month. Lee has previously denied the charges, saying that while Samsung did give money to the foundations, he didn't know Choi controlled them nor did he expect anything in return.

South Korean prosecutors laid out their case against Samsung Electronics Co. The first-quarter profit is the company's second biggest quarterly earnings and a dramatic turn from a loss of 35.3 billion won in the previous quarter.

Even as the Samsung de facto leader and four other executives face corruption charges, the latest earnings preview showed the company's business is thriving.

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"Without the President's help, it would have been impossible for the suspect to take over the company as he wished", special prosecutor Park Young-soo said.

The result was higher than the market consensus of 9.3 trillion won, according to financial data provider FactSet.

The company's operating profit is its second-highest ever for a quarter, and represents a 48 percent jump from a year ago.

Samsung's official earnings report will be announced at the end of this month.

One of the favours Lee allegedly sought from president Park was state approval for a controversial merger of two Samsung units in 2015, seen as a key step to ensure a smooth transfer of power to him.

The forecast will come as welcome news to the South Korean giant after a torrid period in which it had to ditch its flagship Galaxy Note 7 handset after several battery fires.

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