KT bullish on revenue after return to profit - Mobile World Live

KT bullish on revenue after return to profit

09 FEB 2021

KT forecast recovery in consolidated revenue in 2021, after posting steady growth in mobile service turnover, 5G subscribers and ARPU in the final quarter of 2020.

The company forecast revenue to rise 4.6 per cent to KRW25 trillion ($22.4 billion), after dipping 1.7 per cent year-on-year to KRW23.9 trillion in 2020.

On an earnings call, CFO Kim Young-jin said it expects competition to stabilise: it plans to depart from subsidy-based offerings to focus on profitability.

He noted the launch of low- to mid-tier 5G plans aims to expand its subscriber base without having a significant impact on overall ARPU, which it predicts will grow 3 per cent this year.

Kim said it plans to enhance profitability of its core services by focusing on high-value subscribers such as 5G users and improving its cost structure. He noted the company is also restructuring its commerce, media content and financial service units, which it sees as new growth areas.

KT booked a profit of KRW39.1 billion in Q4, recovering from a loss of KRW10.2 billion in Q4 2019, but service revenue was flat at KRW5.3 trillion.

Mobile service revenue rose 3.2 per cent to KRW1.67 trillion, while handset sales were flat at KRW905 billion.

Its IPTV business grew 6.9 per cent to KRW438.7 billion, while broadband turnover was mostly flat at KRW503.3 billion and fixed-voice revenue fell 8.1 per cent to KRW351.5 billion. B2B revenue dipped 2.5 per cent to KRW707.9 billion.

5G growth
KT added 2.2 million 5G subscribers in 2020 for a total of 3.62 million at end-December.

Overall mobile subscribers, excluding MVNO and IoT connections, rose marginally to 14.3 million. ARPU improved 1.9 per cent to KRW31,946.

Capex decreased 11.8 per cent to KRW2.87 trillion, with spending on mobile access dropping 27.6 per cent to KRW1.59 trillion.

Kim said 2021 capex will remain the same, but noted it will invest more in AI and media services.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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