KT, SK earn more than $1 bn last year on flourishing 5G business

2022.02.09 14:26:05 | 2022.02.09 15:33:49

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South Korea`s leading wireless carriers SK Telecom Co. and KT Corp. earned more than $1 billion operating income last year on fast migration to 5G and flourishing businesses on 5G network.

In an earnings guidance released on Wednesday, SK Telecom estimated its consolidated operating income at 226.7 billion won ($189.5 million), losing 23 percent on quarter and 42 percent on year for the October to December period.

Revenue gained 2 percent on quarter and 3.9 percent on year to 4.3 trillion won. Net income fell 57 percent on quarter and 14 percent on year to 315 billion won.

But for the full 2021, SK Telecom posted 1.4 trillion won in operating income, up 11.1 percent from the previous year on revenue growth and cost-efficiency. Revenue rose 4.1 percent to 16.7 trillion won thanks to increased 5G share as well as IPTV and broadband subscribers. Net income gained 61.2 percent to 2.4 trillion won.

Shares of SK Telecom closed at 56,200 won, up 0.54 percent Wednesday afternoon.

KT beat SK Telecom in fourth-quarter and full-year performance.

For the fourth quarter, the company on Wednesday reported that consolidated operating income jumped 128.4 percent on year to 369.4 billion won while sales gained 6.7 percent to 6.6 trillion won.

It earned 1.67 trillion won in full-year operating income, up 41.2 percent, on sales of 24.9 trillion won, up 4.1 percent.

Shares of KT closed at 32,300 won, up 1.10 percent on Wednesday afternoon.

SK said its number of 5G subscribers rose by 4.4 million on year to 9.87 million at the end of last year and passed the 10 million mark last month. The number of pay-TV subscribers (IPTV and CATV subscribers) reached 9 million by the end of 2021.

SK Broadband had the highest net additions of IPTV subscribers throughout the second and third quarters. SK Stoa also maintained the top spot for revenue in the T commerce market.

This year SK Telecom will redefine its business and accelerate growth by focusing on five business groups: Mobile & Fixed-line, Media, Enterprise, AIVERSE, and Connected Intelligence.

For its Mobile & Fixed line business, SK Telecom will increase its competitiveness in the market by working closely with SK Broadband (SKB) on 5G leadership. SK Telecom’s Media business plans to tap into areas such as content, T commerce, and advertisement. Its Enterprise business will pursue expansion of the data center and advancements in its digital infrastructure business through cloud services that utilize 5G Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC).

SK Telecom plans on releasing new services through its AIVERSE business. T Universe, SK Telecom’s subscription-based platform’s total product sales within four months of its launch was 350 billion won. ‘ifland’, SK Telecom’s metaverse service, had more than 1.1 million monthly active users (MAU).

The company also plans to develop growth drivers for the next 10 years through its connected intelligence businesses such as urban air transportation (UAM), autonomous cars, and robots.

In the Business-to-Business (B2B) sector, SK Telecom will expand its smart factory business through AI. SK Telecom aims to achieve 23 trillion won in revenue in 2025 by focusing on these 5 business groups.

By Susan Lee

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