Samsung Electronics reports record third-quarter as chip profit hits three-year high

The company logo is displayed at the Samsung news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas
The company logo is displayed at the Samsung news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's quarterly operating profit matched estimates with a 26 percent rise to a new record, powered by a strong recovery in its memory chip business as smartphone sales growth eases sharply.

The world's top smartphone vendor said July-September operating profit rose to 10.2 trillion won ($9.6 billion), in line with its estimate.

Profits at its chip business doubled to 2.06 trillion won, its highest in three years.

The mobile division, Samsung's biggest earnings generator, reported a record 6.7 trillion won profit as a greater variety of cheaper Galaxy smartphones boosted shipment volumes and helped counter weakening growth in the lucrative high-end segment. ($1 = 1061.0500 Korean won)

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates and Richard Pullin)