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Samsung reports record-high profit

(CBS/AP) SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest consumer electronics firm by revenues, on Friday reported a record-high profit as strong smartphone sales helped mask a drop in semiconductor and TV profit.

Net profit amounted to 5.05 trillion won ($4.46 billion) for the fiscal quarter ending March 31, compared with 2.78 trillion won a year earlier.

Samsung's quarterly operating profit also came in at record high: 5.85 trillion won, in line with the company's guidance provided earlier this month. The operating income doubled from a year earlier.

Sales rose 22 percent from a year earlier to 45.3 trillion won.

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Samsung, the world's second-largest handset maker after Nokia Corp., credited its mobile communication business that makes the Galaxy series of smartphones for driving the blowout result.

More than 70 percent of the company's operating income came from its mobile business, which raked in 4.27 trillion won in the first quarter, Samsung said. Samsung narrowly beat Apple in last year's smartphone shipments and analysts estimated its smartphone sales during the January-March period exceeded Apple's iPhone sales by a large margin.

The Suwon, Korea-based company expects its profit to further gain in coming months.

"We cautiously expect our earnings momentum to continue going forward, as competitiveness in our major businesses is enhanced," Robert Yi, head of Samsung's investor relations, said in a statement.