Samsung Electronics said its third-quarter operating profit is expected to increase almost 28 percent from a year ago, its highest in three years, driven by the sale of its new foldable smartphones and surging memory chip prices and demand. The world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker reported an operating income of 15.8 trillion Korean won ($13.3 billion) in the three months to September 30, according to the company’s preliminary results. It is lower than the Refinitiv SmartEstimate of 16.1tn won but the highest quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2018 when Samsung posted a profit of more than 17.5tn won. The company’s sales during the July-September period jumped more than 9 per cent on an annualised basis to 73tn won. Samsung, South Korea’s largest company, did not reveal its net income or details on the performance of its different divisions in its preliminary results. Industry analysts said Samsung partially benefited from the pent-up demand for semiconductors or memory chips in the third quarter. They accounted for nearly half of the company’s operating profit in the first half of the year. “Both revenue and operating profit [are] lower than our estimate, and market estimate,” SK Kim, executive director and senior analyst at Daiwa Capital Markets, told CNBC. Samsung’s smartphone business was moderately affected by the global supply chain disruptions but increasing semiconductor prices are expected to boost the company’s components business, he added.