KT rides out mobile revenue drop to grow profit

05 NOV 2018

The second largest mobile operator in South Korea reported brisk profit and subscriber growth in the third quarter of 2018, but mobile revenue continued to fall due to higher discounts mandated by the government.

Net profit jumped 18.2 per cent year-on-year to KRW239.5 billion ($213 million). Operating revenue rose 2.1 per cent to KRW5.95 trillion, with a 9.3 per cent increase in merchandise sales to KRW852 billion helping to offset declines in both wireless turnover (down 3.1 per cent to KRW1.76 trillion) and fixed-line revenue, which includes broadband (down 2.6 per cent to KRW1.19 trillion).

KT said the decline in mobile was due to more customers signing up to mobile data plans offering higher discounts than were available during the comparable period of 2017.

Revenue at the company’s media and content business rose 7.6 per cent year-on-year to KRW616 billion.

Its mobile subscriber base increased 5.7 per cent from Q3 2017 to 20.9 million at end September. LTE penetration rose from 76.7 per cent to 79.4 per cent.

Capex for the full year is set at KRW2.3 trillion, 2.2 per cent higher than 2017, but the operator spent just 48 per cent of that budget in the first three quarters of 2018.

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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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