RPT-UPDATE 4-Samsung posts $7.4 bln profit, handsets mask weak chips

Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:42am EDT
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* Q3 operating profit 8.12 trln won, in line with guidance

* Handset division earns 5.63 trln won, 69 pct of total

* Chips unit Q3 profit 1.15 trln won, down 28 pct

* Q3 smartphone sales 56.3 mln - IDC

* Shares down 2.65 pct in Seoul

By Miyoung Kim

SEOUL, Oct 26 (Reuters) - South Korean technology powerhouse Samsung Electronics Co posted a fourth straight record quarterly profit - of $7.4 billion - with strong sales of its Galaxy range of phones masking sharply lower sales of memory chips.

The record run, though, is likely to end in December, with profit growth slowing even more next year as TV markets stagnate and growth in high-end smartphones eases from the recent breakneck speed. Profit is expected to grow 16 percent next year, down from a forecast 73 percent this year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.   Continued...