South Korea-based LG Uplus booked double-digit profit and revenue growth in the first quarter of 2020, as a result of 5G subscriber gains and higher turnover across all its business units.

Lee Hyuk-Ju, CFO, said during an earnings call while Covid-19 (coronavirus) dampened the overall economy and social distancing measures softened handset sales, brisk subscriber growth fuelled robust mobile revenue gains.

The company added 291,000 5G users in Q1 taking its total to 1.46 million, 9.4 per cent of its total subscriber base which increased 7.8 per cent year-on-year to 15.52 million. The operator launched 5G service in April 2019, with subscribers forecast to account for about 25 per cent of its total by the year-end, which Lee said is slightly lower than it projected a year ago.

Mobile service revenue increased 6.2 per cent to KRW1.3 trillion ($1.03 billion), with handset sales up 1.3 per cent to KRW715.1 billion. ARPU dipped 0.8 per cent to KRW30,796, though Lee noted an upward sequential trend.

Revenue in its smart home (broadband and IPTV) business increased 8.1 per cent to KRW537.8 billion, while enterprise was up marginally to KRW380 billion.

Net income increased 12.2 per cent to KRW148.8 billion on total revenue of KRW3.3 trillion, up 11.9 per cent.

Capex rose 35.3 per cent to KRW374.6 billion.