South Korea’s second largest mobile operator KT Corp. reported a 8.4 percent on-quarter gain in operating profit for the quarter ended September thanks to growth in internet TV and contents revenue despite heavy spending to promote 5G.
The company in a regulatory filing on Friday said its consolidated operating profit for the July-September period reached 312.5 billion won ($270 million), up 8.4 percent from a quarter ago but down 15.4 percent from a year earlier.
Its net profit rose 5.0 percent on quarter but fell 10.9 percent on year to 213.3 billion won, while sales added 1.9 percent from three months ago and further 4.5 percent against a year ago to total 6.21 trillion won.
KT Shares on Friday gained 0.55 percent to finish at 27,200 won in Seoul.
Weak sales in the mobile and wired divisions were offset by the strong growth of its media content business.
The mobile business delivered 1.76 trillion won in revenue, down 0.2 percent on year. Wireless service revenue, however, inched up 1.0 percent to 1.66 trillion won on a rise in the number of its 5G service subscribers. The average revenue per user grew 0.5 percent from the previous quarter to 31,912 won, with 5G service subscribers adding 52 percent to 1.06 million as of the end of September. About 85 percent of them subscribed to its unlimited 5G data plan, according to the company.
Sales of its wired business came at 1.17 billion won, down 1.5 percent from a year earlier. The number of subscribers to its ultra-fast gigabit internet subscribers rose to 5.35 million, taking up 60 percent of its entire internet subscribers. Premium 1-GiGa internet service subscribers topped 1 million.
Media contents business fared well, in particular, with revenue growing 13.8 percent on year to 701.3 billion won. The number of IPTV subscriptions recorded 8.23 million.
Revenue from its financial business was off 5.2 percent on year to 836.2 billion won. Other services delivered revenue of 596 billion won, down 8.6 percent during the period, due to the fall in real estate service fees.
The company has injected 2.09 trillion won in capital spending this year, up a whopping 89 percent from the previous year, to promote its fledgling 5G service and beef up the network. As of November, the number of base stations for its 5G network topped 63,000, the largest among the Korean telcos.
By Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]