South Korea’s KT Corp has published its financial results for the first quarter of 2020, posting an almost 13% year-on-year drop in net profit. For the three months ended 31 March 2020 the company reported operating revenue of KRW5.832 trillion (USD4.75 billion), flat against KRW5.834 trillion in the year-ago period, but down almost 6% from KRW6.196 trillion in Q4 2019. Of the 1Q20 total, service revenue accounted for the bulk (KRW5.107 trillion), up 3.5% y-o-y, although turnover from the sale of handsets tumbled 20% quarter-on-quarter and 6.9% y-o-y, to KRW724.7 billion. Further, KT’s operating income in 1Q20 stood at KRW383.1 billion, down 4.7% against the corresponding period in 2019, attributed to ‘subsidiaries’ lowered contributions’, while EBITDA totalled KRW1.296 trillion, down 1.0% on an annualised basis. Meanwhile, KT recorded a net income of KRW226.6 billion for the first quarter of 2020, down from KRW259.8 billion a year earlier.
In operational terms, KT reported a mobile subscriber base totalling 21.975 million as at 31 March 2020, up from 21.333 million a year earlier. With KT having launched its consumer 5G service in April 2019, it confirmed that the number of customers opting for the latest generation of mobile broadband connectivity continues to climb, standing at 1.779 million accesses at end-March 2020, up from 1.419 million three months earlier, and 419,000 at end-June 2019. Fixed broadband accesses also increased to 8.962 million, up from 8.782 million at end-March 2019, while IPTV subscriber numbers reached 8.422 million (Mar-19: 7.966 million). Fixed line voice connections maintained a downward trend, though, dropping to 14.033 million at the end of 1Q20, down from 14.830 million a year earlier.