Samsung Q1 beats estimates; chips likely to prop up virus-hit Q2

Solid chip sales have helped cushion the blow to smartphones and TVs at Samsung.

The company said on Tuesday (April 7) its first-quarter operating profit likely managed to rise slightly from a slump a year earlier.

The global leader in semiconductors is benefiting from higher demand for chips from laptop makers and data centres, as global lockdowns have led to a shift to working from home.

Samsung said operating profit was expected to be $5.2 billion in the quarter to the end of March, and revenue likely rose 5%.

Samsung shares traded 2.3% higher while the broader market was up 1.9%.

The maker of phones, TVs and memory chips is the first global tech company to report its quarterly earnings estimates.

Samsung said last month the virus would hurt sales of smartphones - which accounted for about 47% of its revenue last year.

When the outbreak started in China last year, its strategy of spreading its production base to countries including Vietnam and India seemed to pay off as supply disruptions in China hit rivals such as Apple.

But it's now a major global issue, and Samsung too has had to close factories and retail stores in Europe, India and the U.S.