KT recorded a double-digit drop in profit in 2019 as its aggressive 5G service rollout required a sharp increase in network investment and also involved higher marketing costs.
Capex jumped 65 per cent to KRW3.26 trillion ($2.8 billion), with access networks accounting for 67 per cent of the total. Marketing expenses rose 18.2 per cent from 2018, to KRW2.74 trillion.
The operator ended 2019 with 1.42 million 5G subscribers, but the growth rate slowed in Q4 to 364,000 additions compared with 636,000 in Q3.
Net additions of 800,000 mobile subscribers in 2019 took its total to 21.9 million at end-December. ARPU was flat at KRW31,347.
Its net profit dropped 12.2 per cent to KRW669 billion, on revenue of KRW24.3 trillion, up 3.8 per cent.
In Q4, KT turned a profit of KRW18.1 billion versus a loss of KRW6.8 billion in the comparable period of 2018. Service revenue rose 2.5 per cent to KRW5.14 trillion, while merchandise sales increased 8 per cent to KRW1.05 trillion. Wireless service revenue inched up 1.4 per cent to KRW1.64 trillion.
Turnover from its media and content business grew 9.1 per cent to KRW708 billion, and fixed line revenue, which covers broadband, was broadly flat at KRW1.17 trillion, 0.5 per cent lower.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back