Samsung Electronics says its July-September net profit rose 28 percent over a year earlier as sales of mobile components masked a weak smartphone revival.

The South Korean company reported Thursday a third-quarter net income of 5.3 trillion won ($4.6 billion). That was lower than the market forecast of 5.6 trillion won, according to financial data provider FactSet.

It was Samsung's first earnings gain in more than a year, but the weak-than-expected recovery shows its continued struggle to catch up to Apple in China and elsewhere.

Profit from semiconductor products and display panels improved but its mobile phone profit slid from the previous quarter after price cuts on some Galaxy smartphones.

Sales gained 9 percent to 51.7 trillion won while operating profit jumped 82 percent to 7.4 trillion won.