SK Telecom’s net profit up 1.95 pct in Q1

SEOUL-- South Korea's No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. said Wednesday its first-quarter net profit increased nearly 2 percent from a year earlier.

Net profit came to 583.48 billion won (US$517.2 million) in the January-March period, the mobile carrier said in a regulatory filing. This represents an 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 long-term evolution network (LTE) services. Its share in South Korea's No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. also helped in its improved net profit, the company added.

The company counted 29.8 million clients as of end-March, up 910,000 from the previous quarter. The subscribers of LTE services accounted for 21.6 million, or 72.6 percent of total customers.

SK Telecom said only 1.5 percent of its subscribers discontinued using its 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 join forces with business partners to tap deeper into the artificial intelligence business to provide more customized services to it users.

Shares of SK Telecom traded at 245,000 won on the main bourse as of 9:32 a.m., down 1.8 percent from the previous trading session. First-quarter earnings were announced after the market opened on Wednesday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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