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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 07:29 GMT
Samsung HQ raided in bribes probe
Samsung offices in Seoul
Samsung denies any wrongdoing
The headquarters of South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group has been raided by police as part of continuing investigations into suspected bribery.

The raid came a day after other Samsung offices were searched amid allegations that the firm operated a 200bn won ($215m; 110m) slush fund.

The company continues to deny the allegations.

The raid also came as the firm's flagship unit, Samsung Electronics, reported better-than-expected profits.

Its profits for the last three months of 2007 fell 6.6% from a year earlier to 2.2 trillion won after it was hit by falling prices for microchips.

However, analysts had been expecting a sharper decline and broadly welcomed the results.

Improved product mix

While Samsung Electronics' profits from semiconductors fell 74% during the quarter - as a result of oversupply in the global market - those from its sale of LCD televisions trebled.

The company also saw an increase in camera and mobile phone sales.

"It looks like Samsung has moved to improve its product mix and cut costs faster than the market had expected," said Kim Young-il, fund manager at Hanwha Investment Trust Management.

The investigations into the Samsung Group began last week after former Samsung lawyer Kim Yong-Chul said the company had bribed prosecutors, judges and government officials.

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