Samsung predicted Q4 earnings would hit record levels and its full year operating profit will increase by nearly 84 per cent year-on-year, primarily due to rising prices for memory chips.

The South Korea-based vendor forecast Q4 operating income will jump 63.7 per cent year-on-year to KRW15.1 trillion ($14.1 billion) on consolidated sales of KRW66 trillion, an increase of nearly 24 per cent. The company reported a KRW14.53 trillion operating profit in Q3 2017.

In its earnings guidance for 2017, the chip and smartphone giant estimated full-year consolidated operating profit to rise 83.3 per cent from 2016 to KRW53.6 trillion and consolidated sales to increase 18.7 per cent to KRW239.6 trillion.

Reuters reported the Q4 figure fell short of market expectations due to the strong KRW and staff bonuses offseting some of the profit increase driven by rising memory chip prices.

The global semiconductor industry saw soaring demand for DRAM chips, but some analysts caution chip prices could fall during 2018 as output rises in response to the strong demand, Financial Times said.

Samsung said the estimated figures represent the median of its earnings estimate range.

In October Samsung reported a Q3 net profit of KRW11.1 trillion, more than double the KRW4.54 trillion of Q3 2016. Revenue increased 29.8 per cent to KRW62 trillion, with memory chip sales increasing 65 per cent year-on-year to KRW16.3 trillion.

That month the company also named the replacement for vice chairman and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun, who announced he would step down. Kim Ki-nam, president of the semiconductor business, will take over from Kwon in March 2018 and will also head the device unit.