SK Telecom (SKT) announced increased sales attributed to strong uptake of its LTE service as 7.53 million LTE subscribers signed up by the end of the year.
As well as the healthy LTE uptake — which beat its seven million target — SKT also benefited from growth in its enterprise business and strong performance from its SK Broadband and SK Planet subsidiaries.
These positive developments offset the impact of mobile rate cuts and a diversified competitive landscape.
However, 2012 full-year profit was hit by network upgrade costs and increased marketing expenses related to the rollout of its LTE network.
For Q4 2012, SKT recorded consolidated net income of KRW519.1 billion ($477.45 million), up 166 per cent from the KRW195.5 billion seen in the same quarter in 2011. Operating revenue was KRW4.20 trillion, 6 per cent up on the equivalent period in 2011.
For 2012 as a whole, the company recorded net income of KRW1.12 trillion, 29.5 per cent down on 2011. This was despite revenue increasing by 2.3 per cent to KRW16.30 trillion.
Capex for 2012 was KRW2.86 trillion, a 25.5 per cent increase on 2011, as the operator completed its nationwide LTE rollout.
According to Wireless Intelligence, SKT had just under 27 million connections at the end of 2012, ahead of KT with around 17.5 million connections.