By Marcus Leach

Samsung Electronics have announced a larger than expected jump in profits for the final three months of 2011.

Operating profits for the period are reported to be 5.2tn won ($4.5bn; £2.9bn), 73% higher than a year a earlier, largely due to the success of their smartphones.

The South Korean firm overtook Apple as the leading smartphone seller in the world last year, and it is expected they will continue to surge ahead this year.

"Samsung is likely to continue record-breaking earnings this year as earnings from flat screens and memory chips will improve, making up for any potential slowdown in handset growth rates," Lee Seung-woo at Shinyoung Securities told the BBC

"I'd expect profits to grow by another 5tn won this year."

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