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(LEAD) KT turns to profit in 2015

All News 08:23 January 29, 2016

(ATTN: RECASTS lead; ADDS details throughout)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean telecom giant KT Corp. said Friday that it swung to the black in 2015 on the back of reduced costs and the rise in the number of long-term evolution (LTE) network users.

Net profit came to 631.3 billion won (US$523.4 million) last year, compared with a loss of 966 billion won posted in 2014, KT said in its regulatory filing based on the consolidated basis.

Sales edged down 0.1 percent to 22.2 trillion won, while operating performance also turned to a profit of 1.2 trillion won, compared with a loss of 406.6 billion won posted a year earlier.

2015 marked the first time in three years that KT posted an annual operating profit hovering above the 1 trillion-won mark.

For the fourth quarter, KT posted a net loss of 97.1 billion won. It also marked a turnaround from the profit of 126 billion won posted for the previous three-month period.

Sales came to 5.95 trillion won in the October-December period, up 4 percent from a year earlier, while the operating profit fell 21.4 percent to 267.2 billion won.

Last year, KT posted sales of 7.3 trillion won in the mobile network business, up 0.7 percent on-year.

Its fixed-line business posted sales of 5.15 trillion won, down 6.9 percent from a year earlier, due to the falling number of people using traditional phones.

The company's media and contents business posted sales of 1.6 trillion won, soaring 10.2 percent on-year on the back of its efforts to release more HD content.

Sales from financial businesses rose 5.9 percent over the cited period to 3.4 trillion won on the back of strong performances from its card unit BC Card Co.

Shares of KT closed 0.37 percent lower at 26,900 won Thursday, when the market closed 0.48 percent higher. The fourth-quarter earnings result was released before the market opened Friday.

colin@yna.co.kr
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