Samsung Electronics posts record Q3 profits

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The current three co-CEO management structure would be maintained, it added, without elaborating.

The appointment announced in the middle of Samsung's run of record-breaking blockbuster earnings shows it has opted for stability rather than a big shakeup at a time when its de facto leader Lee Jae-yong is facing a five-year prison sentence.

While two other chief executives oversee Samsung's phone business and appliance business, leaving little leadership vacuum for Samsung's daily operations, there are worries in and outside Samsung that its long-term business planning is put on hold due to Lee's imprisonment.

Kim Ki-nam, 59, was appointed to lead the Device Solutions division which makes components including memory chips; Koh Dong-jin, 56, would head up IT and Mobile Communications; and Kim Hyun-suk, 56, would lead Consumer Electronics, Samsung said in a statement. The truth behind the profit is the increase in seasonal demand and price of its products.

Samsung Electronics on October 31 named three new executives to lead its components, mobile and consumer electronics divisions, effectively immediately. The changes were effective immediately.

Its investment in infrastructure, mostly on chip plants, will reach a whopping 46.2 trillion won just for this year, compared to 25.5 trillion won in 2016, it said.

Operating profit almost tripled in the third quarter from the same period a year earlier, to 14.5 trillion won ($12.91 billion), Samsung said in a regulatory filing, matching its earlier estimate.

Samsung will allocate at least 50 percent of free cash flow to shareholder returns over the three years.

The chip business was Samsung's top earner as it booked a record 10 trillion won operating profit, from 3.4 trillion won from the previous corresponding period.

While the dividend policy builds on the investor-friendly trend Samsung started in 2015, it was not as generous as some investors had hoped, analysts said. The stock has risen 71 percent over the past 12 months.

Looking ahead, Samsung's component business, especially its memory chips and advanced flexible displays called OLED, will drive the improvement of its financial performance during the fourth quarter and next year, Samsung said.

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