Trial of Samsung heir focuses on father-to-son succession

Phillip Butler
April 10, 2017

KB Securities analyst Bae Sung-young also said the markets will lack in any strong momentum next week as most companies release their first-quarter results late in the month. Samsung scrapped its flagship smartphones a year ago after they overheated and caught fire, leaving billions of dollars in financial damages and hurting its reputation.

Samsung Electronics' operating profit is forecast to reach 13 trillion won in the second quarter of this year, an all-time high if achieved, according to Kim Sun-woo, an analyst at Meritz Securities. Its sales stayed almost flat at 50 trillion won ($44 billion) during the first quarter.

Revenue for the quarter likely rose 9.7 percent to 14.7 trillion won, the firm said.

The bright first quarter outlook came just hours before Samsung's vice chairman and de facto leader Jay Y. Lee was due in court on Friday, marking his first appearance in a trial where he and four other company executives face charges of bribery, embezzlement, perjury and hiding assets overseas, among others.

At an event that's been dubbed the "trial of the century", prosecutors spent an hour laying out the charges against Lee, South Korea's highest profile business leader.


Song said Samsung was unaware of Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, until after the scandal over their relationship and allegations of influence-peddling surfaced late past year.

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 results also underscore how the electronics conglomerate is recovering from last year's Note 7 crisis, when some smartphones burst into flames and forced Samsung to pull it from shelves. They said Samsung's semiconductor division likely recorded profit much higher than expected, contributing more than half of the company's quarterly income as supplies of memory chips remained tight while demand from global smartphone makers was solid.

Lee's lawyer flatly denied the charges.

Analysts said strong demand for mobile chips and displays for smartphones fueled the stellar profit during the typically slow season for smartphones and television sets. The S8 was its first major smartphone launch since the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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