Korea-based KT reported continued gains in 5G subscribers, but a sharp decline in handset sales and flat mobile service turnover led to a drop in overall revenue.
Net profit increased 7.9 per cent year-on-year to KRW230.1 billion ($205 million), with operating revenue falling 3.9 per cent to KRW4.52 trillion.
Mobile service revenue was flat at KRW1.64 trillion, while handset sales declined 23.9 per cent to KRW715.5 billion.
In an earnings call, CFO Yoon Kyung-keun said excluding the impact of a significant drop in international roaming, mobile service turnover was up 3 per cent year-on-year.
Total revenue from its fixed-line voice, broadband and IPTV businesses increased 1.5 per cent to KRW1.33 trillion; B2B sales rose 0.8 per cent to KRW690 billion, with growth slowing due to delays in some projects. The CFO expects B2B growth to return to double-digit gains next year.
Looking ahead to the full year, Yoon said it expects an improvement in its overall results from 2019, without disclosing specific figures.
During the quarter, the operator added 575,000 5G subscribers to end September with 2.8 million, taking penetration to 19.8 per cent. In Q2 it signed up 459,000 5G subs.
KT in October introduced lower-cost 5G plans in an effort to boost penetration by attracting customers on mid- to low-end LTE plans.
Yoon noted that despite expanding the range of plans, about 80 per cent of new additions opt for its super premium 5G package. While the move may weaken ARPU, he said the aim is to expand the 5G base which will have a bigger long-term impact on the top-line.
Total mobile subs rose by 200,000 from the same period in 2019 to 14.3 million. ARPU fell 0.9 per cent to KRW31,620.
Capex for the full year is forecast to increase 4.8 per cent to KRW3.1 trillion, with KRW1.78 trillion spent in the first nine months of the year.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back