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SK Telecom and KT Corp both boost LTE subscriber numbers in 3Q16

28 Oct 2016

South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) and KT Corp have published their respective financial results for the quarter ended 30 September 2016. Mobile market leader SKT reported consolidated revenues of KRW4.244 trillion (USD3.78 billion) in the period under review, representing a 0.4% year-on-year decline, which the company partly attributed to lower revenues from its retail unit PS&M, with this offset by other subsidiaries including SK Broadband. Standalone operating revenues for SKT totalled KRW3.102 billion, down from KRW3.142 billion a year earlier, with this decline said to be the result of the abolition of activation fees. Mobile service revenues meanwhile were also lower, falling by 1.4% y-o-y to KRW2.696 billion. SKT’s EBITDA in Q3 2016 totalled KRW1.189 billion, compared to KRW1.245 billion a year earlier, while consolidated net income tumbled by 15.6% to KRW322 billion.

In operational terms, at the end of September 2016 SKT’s mobile subscriber base numbered 29.451 million, up from 28.474 million a year earlier. Of that total, 20.545 million were signed up to an LTE-based service, having increased by more than 11% over the twelve-month period, with 4G subscribers now accounting for almost 70% of the cellco’s entire mobile customer base.

For its part, KT Corp recorded a total turnover of KRW5.529 trillion in the third quarter of 2016, up marginally (0.7%) from KRW5.492 trillion a year earlier. Service revenues totalled KRW5.040 trillion, representing y-o-y growth of 2.9%. In the wireless arena KT generated revenues of KRW1.884 trillion, with service revenues accounting for the lion’s share of that figure (KRW1.675 trillion, up 2.2% y-o-y). Wireline revenues meanwhile totalled KRW1.255 trillion, of which KRW505.1 billion were from telephony (down 11.5% y-o-y) and KRW484.4 billion from broadband (up 11.4% y-o-y). EBITDA in 3Q16 was KRW1.236 trillion, up 5.3% against the corresponding quarter of 2015, while net income surged by 86.1% y-o-y to KRW255.2 billion.

As at 30 September 2016 KT’s mobile subscriber base totalled 18.678 million, up 4.9% from the 17.801 million it reported a year earlier. LTE-based accesses accounted for an increasing proportion of the total, standing at 13.921 million, up from 12.335 million at end-September 2015. In terms of fixed voice connectivity, KT had 16.337 million such accesses at the end of the reporting period, down 2.8% y-o-y, with a 1.5% increase in VoIP lines (3.455 million) failing to offset a 3.9% drop in PSTN lines (12.882 million). Fixed broadband connections meanwhile reached 8.478 million at the end of September 2016, representing an annual increase of 2.3%.

South Korea, KT Corp, SK Telecom (SKT)

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