SKT profit surges despite continued mobile weakness

30 OCT 2018

SK Telecom (SKT) reported a record net profit in the third quarter, surpassing KRW1 trillion ($879 million) for the first time, but mobile service revenue declined due to government-mandated discounts.

Net income jumped 32.4 per cent year-on-year to KRW1.05 trillion, boosted by a record gain of KRW981 billion on its equity holding in SK Hynix. Consolidated revenue fell 5.8 per cent to KRW4.19 trillion, with mobile service revenue dropping 8.5 per cent to KRW2.49 trillion, which the operator attributed to higher discounts on mobile plans.

Ryu Young-sang, head of SKT’s Corporate Centre, said: “Despite difficulties in the mobile communications market environment, SKT has continued to implement innovative measures to provide customers with real and practical benefits.”

The operator said it revamped its price plans and roaming service to reduce tariffs, which led to a short-term earnings decline.

Its subscriber base grew 2 per cent from Q3 2017 to end September with 30.9 million subs. It added 1.8 million 4G subs, taking LTE penetration to 79.3 per cent. Mobile ARPU decreased 8.8 per cent year-on-year to KRW32,070.

The operator’s e-commerce platform, 11st, recorded a 10.8 per cent year-on-year drop in revenue to KRW160 billion. Its operating losses for the first three quarters decreased 43.4 per cent to KRW60.4 billion.

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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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