SK Telecom posts strong Q1 profit with vast subscriber base

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SK Telecom posts strong Q1 profit with vast subscriber base

SK Telecom, Korea’s leading mobile carrier, said Wednesday its first-quarter net profit increased nearly 2 percent from a year earlier.

Net profit came to 583.48 billion won ($517.2 million) in the January-March period, the company said in a regulatory filing. This represents a year-on-year gain of 1.95 percent.

Operating profit came to 410 million won, also up 2.08 percent over the cited period. Sales inched up 0.14 percent to reach 4.2 trillion won.

Net profit hovered above the estimate of 489.1 million won suggested by the survey conducted on 13 local brokerage houses by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency.

SK Telecom said the strong performance came on the back of the rising number of subscribers to its LTE services. Its share in Korea’s No. 2 chipmaker, SK Hynix, also helped in its improved net profit, the company added.

The mobile carrier had 29.8 million customers as of the end of March, up 910,000 from the previous quarter. Subscribers of LTE services accounted for 21.6 million, or 72.6 percent of all customers.

SK Telecom said only 1.5 percent of its subscribers discontinued services in the January-March period, marking eight consecutive quarters that the figure hovered in the 1 percent range.

The mobile carrier said it plans to work with business partners to tap deeper into the artificial intelligence business and provide more customized services to its users. YONHAP

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