Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Image Credit: AP

Seoul: Samsung Electronics on Wednesday posted record quarterly operating and net profits for the third quarter of this year as solid demand for its memory chips cushioned fallout of slowing smartphone sales.

The South Korean tech giant — the world’s top maker of smartphones and memory chips — reported a record operating profit of 17.6 trillion won (Dh56.75 billion), up 21 per cent from a year ago.

Net profit also jumped 17.5 per cent year-on-year to reach 13.1 trillion won for the July-September period, while sales rose 5.5 per cent to 65.4 trillion won, the firm said in a statement.

The record profits were “driven mainly by the continued strength of the memory (chip) business”, Samsung said.

The firm’s mighty semiconductor business reported an operating profit of 13.6 trillion won, hitting a record for two straight quarters and offsetting sagging profits of its mobile phone unit.

The mobile phone unit, which once took a lion’s share of the firm’s overall sales and profit, reported a third-quarter operating profit of only 2.22 trillion won.

The tech behemoth said Wednesday it plans to invest a whopping 31.8 trillion won in production facilities this year — mostly to build and expand chip production plants.

Samsung’s chipmaking unit — currently dominating the global market after the firm invested tens of billions of dollars each year to build and expand factories — provides chips for its own devices as well as its competitors including Apple.

Its mobile unit saw profit margins being squeezed amid growing competition with its arch-rival Apple in the high-end market and Chinese firms churning out cheaper devices in the mid- and low-end segments.