Samsung Electronics Posts First-Quarter Profits of 37%

Samsung Electronics announced today that its net profit was up 37% in the first-quarter of this year. Much of the increase came from sales of cell phones in emerging markets. Samsung earned 2.19 trillion won ($2.2 billion) in the three months that ended on March 31. Sales rose 19% to 17.11 trillion won ($17.19 billion).

Samsung said that mobile sales “achieved similar volume” to last year’s fourth-quarter record sales of 46.3 million handsets. Handset sales continued to grow despite the fact that the global market for cell phones has contracted by about 13%. Samsung sales in China and India are driving the company’s sales increase.

“Our handset business is growing very strong,” Chu Woo-sik, executive vice president for investor relations, told analysts on a conference call.

Samsung leads the world in the manufacture of computer memory chips and flat screen televisions and is the second-largest manufacturer of mobile phones.