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Analysts: Samsung will show us the MONEY on Friday

Q4 take expected to rise to $4.1bn on smartphone sales

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Samsung will be announcing a healthy profit in its quarterly results, according to market-watchers, who reckon the Korean electronics giant has powered through the period with strong smartphone sales.

The company, which is constantly jockeying with Apple for the title of top mobe-maker, has seen its star rise somewhat meteorically in the sector, with its smartphone business accounting for over half its profits in the last quarterly report.

In the fourth fiscal quarter, for which earnings guidance will be reported on Friday, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Nexus, Google's flagship phone hosting the new Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. The hotly anticipated release, along with its still-popular Galaxy SII, should see smartphone profits continue to grow.

Samsung is likely to report an operating profit of 4.7 trillion won ($4.1bn) for October to December, according to a consensus of 30 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Its third quarter results for the period up to September saw it post an operating profit of 4.25 trillion won ($3.7bn).

The Korean firm's main claim to fame used to be its memory chip business, a sector that has taken a battering from poor consumer demand for PCs. But Samsung is busily countering the drop there by focusing its resources on making the kinds of chips used in mobiles, tablets and cameras.

Back in December, the company applied to build a new chip factory in China to produce NAND chips, an application that the South Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy has now approved, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Samsung will start laying bricks on the new fab in the first half of this year, and hopes to start production at the factory in the second half. ®

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