Oct 042013

A woman walks by the billboards of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 3 at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. AP/Ahn Young-joon

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Operating profit at Samsung Electronics hit another record high in the July-September quarter, likely driven by robust sales of its cheaper mid-range smartphones in developing countries.

The maker of Galaxy smartphones said Friday that its third-quarter operating income rose 25 percent over a year earlier to 10.1 trillion won ($9.4 billion). The result was slightly better than the market expectation of $9.3 billion, according to FactSet, a financial data provider.

Third-quarter sales increased 13 percent to a record high of 59 trillion won ($55 billion).

Samsung did not disclose net income or other details of its financial performance. Its full results will be announced later this month.

Analysts said robust sales of mid- and low-end smartphones and improved profit from Samsung’s semiconductor businesses were behind another record quarter.

There had been expectations that slowing growth in sales of high-end smartphone in rich countries would dent the South Korean company’s profit but the latest result underlined the success of Samsung’s expansion in the mobile-phone market in developing countries.

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Sales of the Galaxy S4 smartphone, Samsung’s flagship model that was released in April, plunged during the three-month period but Samsung probably still sold more smartphones than the previous quarter as consumers snapped up its cheaper smartphones, said Young Park, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.

Samsung announced last month the latest iteration of the Galaxy Note smartphone as well as the Galaxy Gear, a wristwatch with a touchscreen display that can receive and place phone calls through the Samsung smartphone.

The company is the world’s largest maker of smartphones, computer memory chips and TVs. Smartphone sales accounted for about two-thirds of its overall profit in recent years, while demand for televisions and personal computers remained tepid.