Samsung Electronics posts record Q3 profits of $10bn

"We are looking beyond this, considering two to three years", he added.

Hyundai Motor Co. came in second with 8.47 trillion won (US$7.54 billion) in dividends paid to investors over the past five years, followed by SK Group with 7.18 trillion won (US$6.39 billion), LG Group with 4.44 trillion won (US$3.95 billion), POSCO Group with 3.5 trillion won (US$3.12 billion), Hanwha Group with 1.13 trillion won (US$1 billion), GS Group with 1.12 trillion won (US$996.09 million), Lotte Group with 795.4 billion won (US$707.34 million) and Nonghyup with 380.7 billion won (US$338.55 million). Sales jumped 29.77% to 62.05 trillion won during the same period, with net profit attributable to shareholders soaring 150.40% to 11.03 trillion won.

Samsung predicted "positive growth" in the semiconductor business next year as technological advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning fanned demand for high-powered processor chips.

But its profits and share price have rocketed this year, and it said separately it would double its dividends in 2018.

The announcement comes as strong semiconductor performance helped the company post record earnings in the third quarter, offsetting dwindling profits from the consumer electronics department. Sales rose 30 percent to 62 trillion won (USD 55.1 billion) while operating profit almost tripled from the previous year to 14.5 trillion won (USD 12.9 billion), in line with its preview. The figures jumped to 7.37 trillion won (US$6.56 billion) in 2013, 9.03 trillion won (US$8.03 billion) in 2014, 10.75 trillion won (US$9.56 billion) in 2015 and then 12.02 trillion won (US$10.69 billion) a year ago.

Samsung is also earmarking 9.6 trillion won (USD 8.6 billion) each year from 2018 to 2020 for shareholder returns, almost double its dividends in 2017. Operating profit at the mobile business reached 3.29 trillion won, up from 100 billion a year ago when it was slammed by the termination of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. "We expect tight supply will continue in the fourth quarter and next year, as chip capacity is expanding further".

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