SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) — Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday reported market forecast-beating first-quarter earnings on the back of its mobile and home appliance businesses that offset a relatively tepid performance from the semiconductor unit.

Its net profit stood at 7.14 trillion won (US$6.4 billion) in the January-March period, up 46.2 percent from a year earlier, the world’s largest memory chip and smartphone vendor said in a regulatory filing.

Its operating profit jumped 45.5 percent on-year to 9.38 trillion won in the first quarter of the year. Sales rose 18.2 percent on-year to 65.38 trillion won, the largest-ever figure for any first quarter.

The figures were in line with its earnings guidance announced earlier this month that beat the market consensus.

Samsung said its upbeat performance came as smartphone sales soared on the back of new handset launches, while its chip business suffered from a monthlong shutdown of the company’s semiconductor plant in Austin, Texas, where a severe winter storm caused a power outage in February.

This file photo taken April 7, 2021, shows Samsung Electronics Co.'s office building in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Revenue from the semiconductor unit stood at 19.01 trillion won in the first quarter of the year, up 7.76 percent from a year earlier, but its operating profit plunged 15.53 percent to 3.37 trillion won.

“The memory business saw a slight profit decline due to a downward trend in NAND prices and investment for new production lines, despite overall decent demand backed by server and mobile products,” the company said.

“The foundry business saw its earnings decline in the first quarter due to a disruption of production at the Austin fab in the U.S. from a major power outage.”

Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications (IM) division was the top performer, racking up revenue of 29.21 trillion won, up 12.34 percent from a year earlier, while operating profit soared 65.66 percent on-year to 4.39 trillion won.

“While market demand decreased quarter-on-quarter amid weak seasonality, the company saw overall demand recovering from a year earlier when the market was significantly impacted by COVID-19,” it said. “Flagship smartphone sales increased QoQ underpinned by the launch of Galaxy S21, as well as mass-market models such as Galaxy A-Series maintaining solid sales performance.”

This photo taken on April 7, 2021, shows Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy S21 smartphone displayed at a store in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The Consumer Electronics (CE) division, comprised of the Visual Display and Digital Appliances businesses, posted its best-ever first-quarter performance as it logged 12.99 trillion won in sales, up 26.11 percent from a year earlier, while operating income more than doubled from a year ago to reach 1.12 trillion won.

“The company posted both stronger sales and profit as it leveraged its global supply chain management capabilities to swiftly respond to heightened demand,” Samsung said. “It also saw increased sales of its premium products, including strong initial sales of the new Neo QLED lineup.”

Samsung’s Display Panel (DP) unit posted 6.92 trillion won in revenue, up 5 percent from a year earlier, and 3.75 trillion won in operating profit, up 0.8 percent from a year ago, for the first quarter.

“Earnings improved as the expanded adoption of OLED displays from flagship to entry-level models drove growth,” it said.

Samsung said its capital expenditures in the first quarter stood at 9.7 trillion won, including 8.5 trillion won for semiconductors and 0.7 trillion won for displays.

This photo taken on April 7, 2021, shows Samsung Electronics Co.'s QLED TVs displayed at a store in Seoul. (Yonhap)