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SK Telecom revenues flat in 2016, net profit boosted by POSCO, LOEN stake sales

3 Feb 2017

SK Telecom (SKT), South Korea’s largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, has published its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2016, revealing an increase net profit despite flat revenues.

In the period under review SKT generated a total turnover of KRW17.092 trillion (USD14.5 billion), representing a 0.3% year-on-year decline from the previous fiscal year, though it noted that revenues in the final quarter of the year had actually increased by 2.6% quarter-on-quarter to KRW4.352 trillion. Operating income was also lower in FY 2016, standing at KRW1.536 trillion (2015: KRW1.708 trillion), with this attributed to a rise in the commissions in paid out, along with depreciation expenses. Net income in the twelve-month period totalled KRW1.660 trillion, up from KRW1.516 trillion in FY 2015, with SKT noting its bottom line had been boosted by profits stemming from the sales of stakes in steelmaker POSCO and entertainment company LOEN.

SKT’s mobile subscriber base increased by 3.4% in the year ended 31 December 2016 to 29.595 million, while the proportion of that total signed up to its LTE-based services also continued to climb. Indeed, as at the end 2016 the operator reported a total of 21.078 million 4G subscribers, representing 71.2% of its total base, up from 66.3% at the end of 2015. Fixed broadband accesses meanwhile increased by 3.4% y-o-y to 5.207 million at the end of the reporting period, while the number of IPTV subscribers on the company’s books reached 3.962 million at end-2016, compared to 3.482 million a year earlier.

South Korea, SK Telecom (SKT)

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