Samsung has announced that it is likely to report a 50% increase in profits for the fourth quarter, despite undertaking a costly global recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 phone.

The world's largest manufacturer of smartphones said in an earnings guidance that it expects operating profits of 9.2tn won £6.2bn for the October to December quarter, up from a profit of 6.1tn won in the same period a year ago.

If the figure is confirmed, it would represent the highest quarterly profit reported by the South Korean firm since the third quarter of 2013, the Reuters agency reported.

Analysts said the surge in fourth-quarter profits was likely driven by Samsung's semiconductor business and a rebound in smartphone sales.

In October, Samsung permanently ceased production of its high-end Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after a manufacturing defect in the phones' batteries had caused some devices to catch fire.

The company began recalling the model in September and said it expected to take a £1.9bn hit to its profits from the debacle a month later.

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