The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen on a glass door at a company showroom in Seoul. Photo: AFP / Jung Yeon-je

Samsung Electronics forecast a 23% rise in second-quarter operating profit Tuesday thanks to strong demand for memory chips and displays, despite the coronavirus pandemic weighing on the global economy.

The world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker said in an earnings estimate that it expected operating profit to be 8.1 trillion won (US$6.8 billion) in the April-June period, up from 6.6 trillion won in 2019.

The estimate beat analyst forecasts of a single-digit decline in profit year-on-year.

Samsung attributed the rise to a one-off profit generated from its display division, without offering details. 

It predicted sales during the second quarter would be down by 7.3% from a year earlier.

Data centres have moved to stockpile DRAM chips to meet surging demand for online activities in the face of coronavirus restrictions imposed especially in Europe and the United States.

Mobile sales also seemed to have improved with the lifting of some restrictions in other parts of the world.  

Samsung shares were up 0.4% in early trade on Tuesday.