The world’s biggest smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Co. is taking another step towards its goal of making a profit.
The company reported fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday that beat analysts’ estimates and boosted sales to a record high.
The move was driven in part by a stronger global smartphone market.
Samsung said smartphone sales in the third quarter rose to 6.4 trillion won ($6.07 billion), up from 6.1 trillion won in the same quarter last year.
The increase was the most in five years, and marked the first time in seven quarters that Samsung reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit.
Sales grew by a bigger percentage than any other segment, but Samsung said its growth was offset by losses on its smartphone and TV businesses.
It said smartphone shipments rose 4.5% to 8.4 billion.
That was up from a 1.8% rise in the year-ago quarter.
Samsung is still the world’s largest smartphone maker, with nearly a quarter of its total smartphone shipments.
But the company is now facing pressure to turn around its business.
Last year, Samsung’s stock plummeted to a near 20-year low of $27 a share.
The U.S. market has been struggling with slowing growth and higher taxes, which have hurt demand for smartphones.
In China, where Samsung has struggled to sell phones, the company said the country’s government imposed new taxes on devices from March 1.
The government said the taxes were meant to stop the spread of the virus and raise funds for the National Health Insurance Fund.
But Samsung said that was a false message.
The tax on smartphones is one of many measures being proposed by China’s government to help stave off the spread, and the company did not elaborate on its position on tax policy.