LG Uplus registered growth in its mobile business in Q1, despite an ARPU drop, on the back of a jump in MNO and MVNO subscribers. 

Mobile service revenue rose 1.9 per cent year-on-year to KRW1.51 trillion ($1.1 billion), while handset sales fell 4.7 per cent to KRW683.1 billion. ARPU declined 14.5 per cent to KRW24,562.

During its earnings call, CFO Yeo Myung-hee acknowledged the overall business climate continued to be “quite challenging” as uptake of 5G has started to slow, with the company focused on acquiring high-value customers and expanding MVNO and IoT connections.

The operator’s 5G user base grew 13.2 per cent to 7.2 million at end-March, accounting for 37.5 per cent of its 19.2 million total mobile subs, up 18.7 per cent year-on-year. MVNO subscribers jumped 61.8 per cent to top 7 million.

Net profit fell 15.9 per cent to KRW130.4 billion, impacted by higher non-operating expenses, including a 20 per cent increase in interest costs of KRW37.4 billion. Operating revenue was flat at KRW3.58 trillion.

Its IPTV and broadband business was up 2.9 per cent to KRW611.7 billion; enterprise revenue increased 9.9 per cent to KRW405 billion. IoT connections grew 82 per cent to 11.2 million.

Capex in the quarter dropped 26 per cent to KRW384.9 billion. The figure for 2023 was KRW2.51 trillion.