Samsung reported higher sales and profits for the first quarter of 2006, helped by strong sales of LCD (liquid crystal display) panels, the company said Friday.

Net profit for the quarter was 1.9 trillion won ($2 billion), up 25 per cent on the first quarter of 2005, and sales were 14 trillion won, up 1 per cent on the same period last year.

However, with the exception of its LCD business Samsung saw sales fall in each of its other business units: semiconductors, telecommunications, digital media and home appliances.

"On the business front, the overall environment remained challenging in the first quarter with a weaker seasonal IT market, higher oil prices and Korean won appreciation," said Chu Wooksik, senior vice president of investor relations at Samsung. "However, we have continued to produce solid results through difficult circumstances."