South Korea’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, SK Telecom (SKT), has revealed that its net profit in the final three months of 2010 was up 48% compared with the same period a year earlier. With the cellco claiming that increased demand from smartphone users was one of the core factors in its improved results, it posted a net profit of KRW361.4 billion (USD323 million), up from KRW244.2 billion a year earlier, while turnover in the fourth fiscal quarter stood at KRW3.17 trillion, up 2.3% year-on-year against 4Q09. Full-year figures meanwhile showed that the mobile operator had generated revenues of KRW12.46 trillion in the year to 31 December 2010, almost 3% more than the KRW12.1 trillion in the previous twelve-month period. Net profit in FY2010 stood at KRW1.41 trillion, a 9.5% annual increase, while operating income was KRW2.03 trillion, down from KRW2.18 trillion a year earlier.
In terms of subscribers, at end-December 2010 SKT reported that its mobile customer based totalled 25.71 million, up from 24.27 million at end-December 2009, representing a 5.9% y-o-y increase. Average revenue per user (ARPU) in 2010 was KRW41,374 per month, down from KRW42,469 in 2009, while average minutes of use were 301 in the most recent annual period, up slightly from 300 in the previous year.
Commenting on the results, Ha Sung-Min, SKT’s president and CEO said: ‘SK Telecom has firmly maintained its position as the market leader amid countless challenges. In 2011, SK Telecom will make all-out efforts to foster platform business based on the open platform strategy and make it into a strong growth driver like the company’s MNO business. SK Telecom will continue to provide stable data services by upgrading and expanding its 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi networks. At the same time, SK Telecom will refrain from becoming embroiled in the marketing war of attrition and position itself as the market shaper by creating new growth engines.’