A South Korean man walks by an advertisement of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 3 smartphone at a train station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday. Pic: AP.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. says its first quarter earnings improved moderately from the previous year.

Samsung said Tuesday its January-March net income rose 6 percent to 7.6 trillion won ($7.4 billion) while its revenues gained 2 percent to 53.7 trillion won.

More than three-quarters of its 8.5 trillion won quarterly operating profit came from its handset business, with its Galaxy smartphones continuing to see solid sales.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S5 earlier in April at a cheaper price than its previous flagship smartphones, as sales of affordable handsets see strong growth in emerging countries.

The Korean company said lower marketing expenses also bolstered its profit.

It forecast its second-quarter earnings will grow because its key businesses — display panels, TVs, handsets and memory chips — are all likely to see improvements.

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