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SK Telecom and LG Uplus publish first quarter financials

27 Apr 2017

South Korea’s SK Telecom and LG Uplus have published their respective financial results for the quarter ended 31 March 2017.

Mobile market leader SKT recorded revenue of KRW4.23 trillion (USD3.75 billion) in the three months under review, representing year-on-year growth of just 0.1%. The company noted that, while revenues from its SK Broadband unit and other subsidiaries had continued to grow, mobile revenues declined due to ‘selective tariff discount and [the] abolishment of sign-up fees’. Operating income was up by 2.1% y-o-y to KRW411 billion, meanwhile, with EBITDA and net income increasing by 4.5% and 2.0% to KRW1.20 trillion and KRW584 billion, respectively.

In operational terms, at the end of March 2017 SKT had 29.8 million mobile subscribers on its books, up from 28.9 million a year earlier, with the number of those signed up to a 4G service reaching 21.7 million, up from 19.5 million. Fixed broadband accesses meanwhile totalled 5.31 million, compared to 5.09 million at end-March 2016, with IPTV subscriber numbers climbing to 4.07 million (1Q16: 3.62 million).

By comparison, LG Uplus reported a total turnover of KRW2.88 trillion in the first quarter of 2017, up from KRW2.71 trillion in the corresponding period of 2016. Operating income for the nation’s third largest cellco by subscribers was KRW203 billion, up 10% y-o-y, while EBITDA totalled KRW623 billion, compared to KRW574 million in 1Q16. LG Uplus’ net income totalled KRW133 billion, meanwhile, representing y-o-y growth of just over 20%.

As at end-March 2017 LG Uplus had signed up a total 12.6 million mobile subscribers, up from 12.1 million a year earlier, with more than 89% of those (11.3 million) taking an LTE-based service. In the fixed line arena, LG Uplus reported a total of 3.67 million broadband subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2017, up from 3.52 million a year earlier, while IPTV customers numbered 3.19 million (1Q16: 2.76 million). Customers taking a VoIP-based telephony service were down, however, falling to 4.33 million from 4.54 million a year earlier, though there was growth in the number of copper-based voice subscribers, which stood at 514,000 (1Q16: 495,000).

South Korea, LG Uplus, SK Broadband, SK Telecom (SKT)

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