Samsung forecasts bumper profits as CEO resigns amid 'unprecedented crisis'

Samsung forecasts bumper profits as CEO resigns amid 'unprecedented crisis'

With its de facto leader gone, Samsung is clearly struggling at an executive level - and now it has lost vice chair and chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun, generally regarded as the second-most important person at the company behind Lee Jae-yong.

However, in a sign of good news for the company, its estimated operating profits for the third quarter of 14.5 trillion won (US$12.8 billion) marked a record for quarterly profit, almost tripling the 5.2 trillion won earned a year earlier.

The company forecast bumper quarterly earnings on Friday, putting it on track to post a record operating profit for the period.

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Samsung Electronics says its third-quarter profit likely surged almost three-fold over a year earlier to a new record high. 'As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company to start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising in the rapidly changing IT industry, ' Kwon claims in a statement regarding his departure.

It's been a tumultuous year for the South Korean conglomerate.

Lee, who was found guilty in August of bribery, perjury and other charges relating to payments made by Samsung to ousted president Park Geun-hye's secret confidante Choi Soon-sil, is appealing his five-year sentence.

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Samsung expects to pull in 62 trillion won ($54.9 billion) in revenue and 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) in profit for the three months ending September 30, a near 300% increase in profit compared to the same period past year. While Lee Kun-hee is expected to keep the title of "Chairman" for life, medical issues have caused him to step away from Samsung, and Lee Jae-yong had been running the company since 2014.

Mr. Chip is not quitting the company immediately. Both Samsung and Apple recently released new flagship smartphones.

Kwon joined Samsung in 1985 as a researcher in the company's Semiconductor Research Institute in the United States.

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Kwon is stepping down as head of Samsung Electronics' device solutions division, which includes the semiconductor business, and will not seek re-election as a member of the company's board when his term ends next March.