South Korea-based KT highlighted inflationary pressures including double-digit hikes in utility costs impacted its financials in Q3, with its net profit and mobile subscribers dropping.

On its earnings call, CFO Kim Young-jin noted KT is taking steps including turning to AI applications to make its operations more efficient and lower costs. 

Net profit dropped 11.6 per cent year-on-year to KRW326.2 billion ($249.1 million), attributed to higher operating expenses.

Staff costs rose 10.8 per cent.

Revenue rose 3.4 per cent to KRW6.5 trillion.

Wireless sales increased 2.4 per cent to KRW1.7 trillion, with handsets flat on KRW732.4 billion.

Kim pointed to growth in its subsidies, led by a 34.5 per cent increase in KT Cloud sales to KRW193.8 billion. 

The number of 5G subscribers grew 20.4 per cent to 9.6 million, but its total fell 2.4 per cent to 13.6 million.

MVNO subscribers increased 14.6 per cent to 7.2 million.

ARPU rose 2.8 per cent to KRW23,838.

Fixed-line revenue increased 1.8 per cent to KRW1.3 trillion.

B2B service sales rose 2.7 per cent to KRW956.2 billion.

Capex for the first nine months reached KRW1.6 trillion, with KRW2.3 trillion earmarked for the full year, down from KRW3.5 trillion.