SK Telecom (SKT) booked a modest increase in total revenue and a drop in profit in Q4 2023 as ARPU continued to slide, with the operator forecasting slowing 5G subscriber gains and mobile service growth in 2024. 

On an earnings call, CFO Kim Yang-seob noted the internal and external environments remain challenging and left it concerned about its performance in 2024.

Full-year revenue is expected to rise 2 per cent to KRW17.9 trillion ($13.4 billion) as investments in AI drive growth in new businesses.

He mentioned its telecoms-specific AI platform is underdeveloped and it aims to release commercial features which can be applied to contact centres in the first half.

Net profit in Q4 2023 fell 16.2 per cent year-on-year to KRW187 billion, with consolidated revenue rising 3 per cent to KRW4.5 trillion.

Mobile service revenue rose 1 per cent to KRW2.7 trillion, aided by a recovery in roaming.

Its 5G user base increased 17 per cent to 15.7 million, accounting for 50 per cent of its 31.3 million total subscribers, which were up 2.7 per cent. 

ARPU fell 3.1 per cent to KRW29,562, a sixth consecutive quarterly decline.

SK Broadband sales grew 2.5 per cent to KRW1.1 trillion and pay-TV 2.6 per cent to KRW1.1 trillion.

B2B revenue rose 5.1 per cent to KRW330 billion on double digit-growth in its data centre and cloud units.