SEOUL -- South Korea's Samsung Electronics (IW 1000/15) said Tuesday it expected to post a record operating profit of 8.8 trillion won (US$8.3 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The predicted operating profit for October-December represents an 89% rise from a year earlier, and would beat the record of 8.1 trillion won set in the previous quarter.

Samsung, the world's largest technology firm by revenue, was giving earnings guidance before announcing official results later this month.

Fourth-quarter sales were estimated at 56 trillion won, up 18.4% from a year earlier, according to the company, which did not provide figures for each of its business divisions.

Samsung, also the world's leading smartphone and memory chip maker, did not disclose its net profit estimate.

For Samsung, 2012 was a watershed year that saw it take a giant bite out of Apple Inc as it carved out a dominant position in the global mobile computing market.

Having ended Nokia's 14-year rule as the world's top cell phone manufacturer, Samsung saw its share of the lucrative smartphone market surge to 31.3% in the third quarter of 2012, up from just 3.3% in late 2009.

It extended its lead over main rival Apple as the top maker of smartphones worldwide, according to research firm IHS iSuppli, which gave Samsung 28% of the market in 2012, up from 20% the previous year.

While Apple continues to rely mainly on its iPhone series, Samsung produces dozens of smartphone models every year that address all segments of the market, from the high end to the low end.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013