South Korea'sSamsung Electronics said yesterday its net profit spiked 25.6% to another record in the third quarter, driven by soaring revenue from memory chip sales. The world's largest technology firm by revenue said July-September net profit rose to 8.24tn won ($7.8bn), from 6.56bn won a year ago. The previous record was 7.77tn won set in the second quarter. "Despite currency depreciation in emerging markets, increased price competition and global market uncertainties, we were able to reach record earnings driven by solid earnings in our core businesses including memory chips and smartphones," said Robert Yi, Senior Vice President and Head of Investor Relations. "Although we expect demand to increase next quarter due to peak seasonality, lingering macro-economic issues and intensifying market competition will remain in the fourth quarter," Yi said. Operating profit soared 26% on-year to a record 10.2bn won in the third quarter, in line with the estimates Samsung provided earlier this month. Stagnant growth in sales of the company's flagship Galaxy S smartphones was offset by strong sales growth in the cheaper end of the smartphone market. The semiconductor business saw the biggest gains, with a 12% spike in revenue over the previous quarter to 9.74tn won. The bulk of that came from the memory chip business which attracted revenue of 6.37tn won. Third quarter operating profit in the semiconductor business more than doubled from a year ago to 2.06tn won. UPS United Parcel Service Inc said increased demand in domestic ground shipments lifted profits in the third quarter and expects online sales to boost shipping volumes as it heads into the holiday quarter. UPS, which delivered more than 1bn packages worldwide during the quarter, also reconfirmed its profit view for the year. Shipment volume and forecasts at UPS, along with rival FedEx Corp, are closely watched by Wall Street and considered an indication of overall economic health because of the vast amount of goods they transport. For the third quarter, UPS said daily ground shipping volumes rose 3%, while next-day shipping fell 3.3%. Clients have been trading down from pricey next-day air deliveries to more affordable shipping ways that take more time, to save money. For the third quarter, the Atlanta-based company earned $1.10bn, or $1.16 a share, compared with $469mn or 48 cents a share a year earlier. The company expects earnings of between $4.65 and $4.85 per share for the current year. Revenue came in at $13.52bn, up 3.4% over last year, mainly helped by US e-commerce shipments and strong European export growth. Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to earn $1.15 a share, on revenue of $13.6bn, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Procter & Gamble Procter & Gamble Co is chugging along with its turnaround, posting a quarterly profit that met Wall Street's expectations and holding to its annual forecasts as the world's largest household products maker gets a lift from cost cuts and a lower tax rate. The maker of Pampers diapers and Tide detergent is trying to reinvigorate itself under chief executive AG Lafley, who returned in late May to replace Bob McDonald. P&G said it still expected 5% to 7% growth in earnings per share this fiscal year, excluding restructuring charges. The company abandoned quarterly forecasts earlier this year. It still expects organic sales, which strip out the impact of currency changes, acquisitions and divestitures, to rise 3% to 4% this fiscal year. P&G held or increased market share in businesses that represent about two-thirds of its sales during the quarter, Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said. Still, the company has to execute better, more consistently and more reliably, he added. P&G said it had earned $3.03bn, or $1.04 per share, in the first quarter ended on Sept 30, up from $2.81bn, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier. Core earnings per share, which exclude restructuring charges, fell 1% to $1.05 and met analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Sales rose 2.2% to $21.21bn, topping Wall Street's forecast of $21.04bn. Organic sales rose 4%. Such sales were up in every category except healthcare, where they were flat, due in part to a pet food recall. Electrolux Swedish home appliances company Electrolux announced 2,000 job losses and launched a new round of cost cuts to counter tough market conditions in Europe after posting a bigger than expected fall in third-quarter earnings yesterday. Appliance manufacturers, including market leader Whirlpool, have been busy reducing costs and shifting production to emerging markets to protect their margins as they wait for recoveries to take hold on both sides of the Atlantic. Electrolux, second only to Whirlpool in size, said it is closing a factory in Australia to concentrate on production in Thailand and will also review production in Italy. It added that a new overhead reduction programme will result in 2,000 job cuts, about 3.3% of its total workforce at the end of last year, bringing about 1.8bn Swedish crowns ($282.9mn) in annual savings by 2016. The company also came up against currency headwinds, particularly in Latin America, where the Brazilian real weakened considerably against the US dollar. Its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell to 1.08bn crowns in the third quarter, down from 1.42bn in the same period last year and below an average forecast of 1.3bn crowns in a Reuters poll. Electrolux raised its full-year outlook for the US, saying it now expects demand to rise by 7-9%, against its previous estimate of 5-7%. In Europe, meanwhile, it expects a fall of 1-2%. Europe and North America each account for about a third of Electrolux's revenues, followed by Latin America at 20% and Asia Pacific at 8%. Volvo World number two truck maker Volvo posted a sharp drop in third-quarter profit, hit by a strong Swedish currency and the costs of its biggest ever introduction of new models. Volvo, Sweden's largest private-sector employer, also said yesterday it will cut 2,000 jobs as part of a plan announced in September to generate annual savings of 4bn Swedish crowns. The cuts, which represent just under 2% of the Gothenburg-based company's workforce, will affect white-collar staff and consultants and come as the European truck market makes a modest underlying recovery. Volvo, which sells under the Renault, Mack and UD Trucks brands, is in the middle of rolling out more than a dozen new Volvo and Renault models ahead of tougher new vehicle emissions rules. Volvo, which vies for market leadership by trucks sold with Germany's Daimler, said third-quarter orders rose 11% in Europe, its biggest market. Total orders rose 7%, short of a forecast 31% rise. "The available (production) slots for 2013 for (older) Euro 5 trucks from Volvo were sold out during the third quarter, which had a dampening effect on order intake," the company said, adding orders at Renault suffered in a similar way. Volvo's core operating earnings fell to 2.50bn crowns ($392.9mn) in the third quarter from a year-ago 3.48bn, well below a forecast 3.34bn in a Reuters poll of analysts. The company said the strength of the Swedish crown against currencies in emerging markets where it generates roughly a third of sales but produces far less, had shaved just over 1bn crowns off earnings. BASF The world's biggest chemicals company, Germany's BASF, announced on Thursday better-than-expected net profit in the third quarter and held to its targets for the year. But despite the robust earnings, the company warned that the result came despite headwinds caused by the strength of the euro, especially against the Japanese yen and Brazilian real. BASF makes a wide variety of chemicals for plastics, paints, textiles and drugs as well as the auto, construction and agricultural sectors. Between July and September, the group booked better-than-expected net income of €1.1bn ($1.52bn), up a sharp 18% year on year, it said in a statement. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a rise of 12% to €1.04bn. Sales however rose only slightly by 1.5% to €17.7bn, affected by the exchange rate and confirming analysts' estimates. Chief executive Kurt Bock said strong depreciations in foreign currencies hurt revenue by between 150mn and 200mns euros in the third quarter. BBVA One of Spain's largest banks, BBVA, reported a surge in net profit for the third quarter of 2013 yesterday, joining a bandwagon of banks enjoying a recovery from hefty write-offs a year earlier. BBVA net profit climbed 33.6% from the same period last year to €195mn ($269mn) in the three months to the end of September. The bank benefited by comparison with the same quarter last year, when it had to make large provisions for potential losses from its Spanish property-related assets. The profits were nevertheless lower than the markets had anticipated. On average, seven analysts polled by Dow Jones News had tipped a net profit of €552mn. Net banking income dropped 9.2% to €3.55bn over the same period. Further disappointing some investors, BBVA announced a more conservative policy of paying out dividends. The bank said it would distribute 30%-40% of its earnings, as recommended by the Spanish bank regulator. It thus cancelled a dividend payment that had been programmed for January. Kia South Korea's Kia Motors Corp said yesterday its third-quarter net profit rose 8.9% from a year ago on strong sales in China and Eastern Europe. Net profit for the July-September period came to 903.3bn won ($849.5mn), up from 829.5bn won in the same period last year, the country's second-largest car maker by volume said. However, operating profit, weighed by the strong won, labour strikes and work stoppages, fell 13.1% on-year to 696.3bn won. "Despite relatively strong sales overseas, domestic sales weren't good due to low plant operations caused by labour strikes," the company said. Revenue inched up a mere 0.1% from a year earlier to 11.63tn won. Partial strikes in August and September cost the company 413.5bn won in lost production, Kia said last month. The won was 3.4% higher than a year earlier at the end of the third quarter. The stronger currency makes exports more expensive for overseas buyers and diminishes overseas earnings when they are repatriated. South Korea's top auto maker Hyundai Motor owns 34% of Kia and together they form the world's fifth-biggest car maker by sales. Amazon Amazon.com Inc posted a narrower quarterly loss and grew sales by a better-than-expected 24% on Thursday as it expanded aggressively at home and made inroads overseas, sending its shares up 8%. The revenue performance indicated strong momentum of the world's largest Internet retailer going into the crucial US holiday season, which some experts say could be the slowest in years. Rival Ebay Inc gave a disappointing holiday forecast last week, saying the US economic environment, including consumer confidence, had deteriorated in part because of the US government shutdown. Amazon forecast sales of between $23.5bn to $26.5bn, which analysts called conservative. Much of that growth came from its home market, where net sales leapt 31% to $10.3bn as a faster delivery by a growing network of distribution or fulfilment centres drove customer demand, Amazon said. International sales also expanded 15%, up from 13% in the previous quarter. Net loss was $41mn in the third quarter, or $0.09 per diluted share, narrowing from a net loss of $274mn, or $0.60 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2012. Amazon becomes the latest tech name to have outperformed in an otherwise dreary earnings season. About 84% of technology companies that have reported so far have beat on earnings, and 63% on revenue. It posted revenue of $17.1bn in the third quarter, up from $13.8bn a year earlier. Analysts had expected it to post sales of $16.8bn on average. Microsoft Microsoft Corp cruised past Wall Street's quarterly profit and revenue forecasts on Thursday, helped by strong sales of its Office and server software to businesses, sending its shares up more than 5% after hours. The world's largest software company is the latest tech firm to surprise investors with a powerful performance, coming the same day as Amazon.com Inc eased past average revenue forecasts. Technology is proving one of the most resilient sectors in an uncertain economy, with 84% of tech companies beating earnings estimates for the latest quarter. Microsoft said its Surface tablet posted a sharp increase to $400mn in sales, largely due to rising interest in the smaller, heavily discounted Surface RT model. Overall for the fiscal first quarter, Microsoft posted a 17% increase in profit to $5.2bn, or 62 cents per share, up from $4.5bn, or 53 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. That topped Wall Street's average forecast of 54 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, although analysts had been edging down estimates for the last three months. Revenue rose 16% to $18.5bn, helped by rising sales of its Office software. Analysts had expected $17.8bn, on average.