UPDATE 1-Samsung unit raises camera sales, share targets

(Adds sales and market share targets, analyst quote)

SEOUL, March 31 (Reuters) - Samsung Digital Imaging, a camera-making affiliate of technology giant Samsung Electronics, said on Tuesday it aimed to increase its global market share in compact cameras to 12.5 percent in 2009 from 10.4 percent in 2008.

The affiliate 108070.KS, spun off from Samsung Techwin 012450.KS and 33 percent owned by Samsung Electronics, also said it aimed to increase its digital imaging product sales to 5 trillion won ($3.59 billion) in 2012 from about 2 trillion won in 2008.

“We will focus on premium products for future growth,” said Park Sang-jin, CEO of the company, at an event to unveil new camera models.

Samsung Digital Imaging shares extended their recent rally on Tuesday, after more than trebling their price since listing on March 10.

At 0314 GMT, the stock was up 4.6 percent at 28,600 won, after rising as much as 14.6 percent. The wider market .KS11 was up 2.1 percent.

It has risen for the past seven consecutive sessions on strong retail interest, closing at daily limit highs four times.

Samsung Digital Imaging competes with better known Japanese brands such as Canon Inc 7751.T, Sony 6758.T and Nikon 7731.T. It is currently the world's No. 3 maker of compact cameras.

Samsung has yet to compete in the digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera market, which is rising in popularity and is more profitable than the compact camera segment.

It is developing a hybrid model which would feature the small body of a compact camera with exchangeable lenses.

“Samsung wants to make cameras its next handset business,” said Park Won-jae, an analyst at Daewoo Securities.

“Samsung will always need strong devices that consume memory chips, just like handsets use NAND flash chips. Therefore digital cameras are something it will never give up.”

Samsung Electronics 005930.KS is the world's top maker of memory chips. (Reporting by Marie-France Han and Rhee So-eui; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)