SK Telecom (SKT), South Korea’s largest wireless network operator by subscribers, has reported a better-than-expected 76% drop in fourth quarter profit, as marketing costs and losses at affiliates hurt its bottom line. SK’s marketing spend in 2007 was equal to a quarter of its revenue, as it battled second-ranked KTF for 3G users. SK posted a 4Q net profit of KRW66.05 billion (USD70 million), well below a forecast of KRW259.6 billion from Reuters. The earnings were down from a KRW279.3 billion profit posted a year earlier and KRW776.8 billion earned in the previous quarter, when the company booked a one-off gain related to its acquisition of a stake in China Unicom. Revenue reached KRW2.92 trillion, up 6% from a year earlier. SK had 21.97 million subscribers at the end of December, up 8.4% from a year earlier.