Samsung sees 10% jump in first quarter operating profit

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South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is forecasting a 10per cent jump in operating profit for the first quarter.

The world’s largest smartphone producer has said its operating profit in the January to March period is expected to reach 6.6 trillion Korean won ($5.6billion; £3.9billion).

For the same quarter in 2015, Samsung’s operating profit was at 6treillion won.

The improved outlook comes amid reports of strong sales of its latest flagship smartphone models, the Galaxy S7.

Samsung is also estimating a jump in sales to 49trillion won, a rise of four per cent

The company will report its full first quarter results later this month.

If Samsung meets its guidance, it would be a turnaround from the earnings slump in the final quarter of last year.

Strong competition from cheaper Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi and Huawei at the bottom of the market, as well as Apple at the premium end, has put Samsung’s smartphone sales under pressure.

Samsung shares in Seoul closed down 1.25per cent.