SK Telecom Q1 operating profit drops more than 20%

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SK Telecom Q1 operating profit drops more than 20%

Korea’s top mobile carrier SK Telecom said Friday its first-quarter operating profit fell just over 20 percent from a year earlier, although its net profit managed to rise on returns from SK Hynix, a chipmaking affiliate.

Operating profit came to 325.5 billion won ($302 million), down 20.71 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Sales moved down 1.2 percent to 4.1 trillion won over the cited period. Net profit, on the other hand, advanced 18.8 percent on-year to reach 693.4 billion won.

SK Telecom said the overall decrease came as the company provided discounts for its subscription plans, including those for the financially vulnerable.

The mobile carrier claimed it did still manage to post improved performance for its IPTV business, with the number of subscribers rising 9.6 percent on-year to reach 4.46 million in the first quarter.

The subscribers of the mobile IPTV service also jumped 25.5 percent to reach 8.88 million users over the cited period. The mobile service, named Oksusu, posted monthly net users of 6.1 million in the January to March period, soaring 41.9 percent on-year.

The company said it has been seeking to expand the ecosystem of artificial intelligence (AI) services through the NUGU speaker.

SK Telecom said the monthly active users of NUGU came to three million, outpacing other Korean speakers. The mobile carrier said it aims to attract five million active users by the end of this year.

Penetrating deeper into the fifth-generation (5G) network technology, SK Telecom said it has acquired Switzerland-based ID Quantique SA to beef up its capabilities in the new field.

“Although there may be concerns over the short-term losses of sales, we plan to regain trust from clients through innovations and maintain a sound portfolio down the road,” SK Telecom said.

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