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LG Uplus reports net profit decline for FY19 despite revenue increase

7 Feb 2020

South Korean communications provider LG Uplus has published its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2019, revealing an 8.9% year-on-year decline in net profit, despite increased revenues.

For the twelve-month period under review LG Uplus generated a total turnover of KRW12.382 trillion (USD10.45 billion), up from KRW11.723 trillion in FY 2018, with service revenue increasing by 2.9% y-o-y, to KRW9.206 trillion. Although EBITDA was also up on an annualised basis, rising by 13.4% to KRW2.727 trillion, operating income was down by 7.4% in FY 2019, standing at KRW686.2 billion, attributable in part to higher marketing expenses (up 8.7% to KRW2.246 trillion) and increased capital expenditures linked to the rollout of 5G technology; CAPEX for 2019 totalled KRW2.609 trillion, almost double the KRW1.397 trillion spent a year earlier. LG Uplus’ net profit for the year, meanwhile, stood at KRW438.8 billion, down from KRW481.6 billion.

In operational terms, at the end of December 2019 LG Uplus had 15.256 million mobile subscribers on its books, up from 14.128 million a year earlier. Of that most recent total, 1.165 million were said to have signed up for a 5G service, up from 387,000 six months earlier, while 4G accesses were reported to number 13.514 million at end-2019 (Dec-18: 13.336 million). In the fixed broadband sector, LG Uplus had 4.284 million accesses at the end of the reporting period, corresponding to a 6.1% y-o-y increase, while pay-TV accesses rose by more than 11% over the year, to 4.477 million. Fixed voice subscriber numbers continued to decline, however, with VoIP lines falling to 3.834 million (Dec-18: 3.981 million) and traditional copper voice connections dropping to 494,000 (Dec-18: 530,000).

South Korea, LG Uplus

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