Samsung profit rises 37%

Samsung Electronics' profit rose 37% in the first quarter as strength in mobile phones and liquid crystal displays offset weakness in semiconductors, an Associated Press report said.

But Japanese electronics maker Toshiba's profit plummeted 95% in the January-March quarter due to costs of its exit from next-generation video HD DVD business, the Associated Press report said.

And Samung memory chip rival Hynix Semiconductor said it swung to a quarterly loss on a sharp decline in chip prices amid oversupply in the industry, the report said.

Samsung, the world's second-largest producer of mobile phones after Nokia, earned 2.19 trillion won ($2.2 billion) in the January-March period compared with 1.6 trillion won a year earlier.

Sales rose 19% to 17.11 trillion won ($17.19 billion).

Samsung said its sales of liquid crystal displays rose 53% from a year ago while semiconductor revenues declined 2% amid traditionally slow seasonal demand and weak pricing.

In Japan, Toshiba said its profit fell to 1.25 billion yen ($12 million) in the January-March quarter from 26.17 billion yen a year earlier. Revenue fell 3% from a year earlier to 2.09 trillion yen ($20 billion).