South Korean operator LG Uplus recorded stable growth across its mobile business in Q3, with revenue, ARPU and 5G net additions all increasing, but profitability fell sharply due to one-off gains a year earlier.

Net profit for the quarter dropped by 47.7 per cent from a year earlier to KRW211 billion ($178.2 million) due mainly to the sales of its payment gateway unit in August 2020.

Mobile service revenue increased 3.6 per cent to KRW1.43 trillion, while handset sales were mostly flat at KRW694.5 billion. ARPU edged up slightly to KRW30,912.

The operator added 1.9 million 5G subscribers to end September with 4.1 million, accounting for 27.4 per cent of total subs, which remained steady at nearly 15 million (excluding MVNO subs). The operator said it is on track to end the year with 4.5 million 5G users.

Revenue from its smart home business, covering IPTV and broadband services, increased 10.5 per cent to KRW568.5 billion, as IPTV subs grew 8.8 per cent to 5.3 million and broadband users rose 4.9 per cent to 4.7 million.

Capex for the first nine months of the year dipped 8.3 per cent from the same period in 2020 to KRW1.46 trillion, with 29 per cent allocated to wireless networks.