South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) has published its financial results for the first quarter of 2021, reporting an increase in turnover as it ‘continued a solid year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in all business areas’.
For the three-month period under review, SKT reported a total operating revenue of KRW4.781 trillion (USD4.3 billion), up 7.4% against the KRW4.451 trillion reported for Q1 2020. Of the most recent total, revenues from the company’s mobile operations accounted for the largest portion, standing at KRW2.981 trillion in 1Q21, up from KRW2.925 trillion in the corresponding period a year earlier. Meanwhile, SKT’s ‘Media’ division – which includes services such as fixed broadband and voice, and pay-TV – generated revenues of KRW967 billion in the first quarter of 2021, representing a notable annualised increase of 17.6%, with growth driven by the merger of SK Broadband (SKB) and t-broad and the increase in IPTV subscriber numbers.
In terms of other key financial metrics, SKT reported an operating income of KRW388.8 billion in 1Q21, compared to KRW301.3 million in the first quarter of 2020, while EBITDA in the latest reporting period stood at KRW1.422 trillion (1Q20: KRW1.329 trillion). Meanwhile, SKT’s net profit in 1Q21 totalled KRW572 billion, representing an almost 87% increase from KRW306 billion a year earlier, with the company attributing the growth to ‘equity method income from SK Hynix (KRW208.1bn) and disposal gains of SK Wyverns (KRW100bn)’.
With regards to operational highlights, SKT reported a mobile subscriber base (including MVNO access on its network) of 31.520 million as of 31 March 2021, up from 31.477 million a year earlier, with the operator’s direct subscriber base totalling 29.308 million (Mar-20: 28.746 million). 5G subscriber numbers continued to climb, with SKT reporting that 6.736 million customers had signed up to the latest generation of mobile broadband technology as of end-March 2021, up from 5.512 million a year earlier.
In the fixed line arena, SKT reported a total of 6.508 million broadband accesses at the end of the reporting period, representing an 18.1% y-o-y increase, with growth having been bolstered by the SKB and t-broad merger. Pay-TV subscriber numbers also maintained an upward trend, reaching 8.686 million as of 31 March 2021, a 4.5% increase from the 8.309 million SKT reported a year earlier.