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(LEAD) KT 2019 net down on increased investment, marketing costs

All News 11:38 February 06, 2020

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; UPDATES throughout)

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- KT Corp., South Korea's major telecommunication firm, said Thursday its net profit sank 12.2 percent last year from a year earlier as it ramped up spending on its network and marketing.

In a regulatory filing, KT reported a net income of 669.3 billion won (US$ 565.7 million) last year, down from 762.3 billion won in 2018.

The company said that operating profit for the year fell 8.8 percent on-year to 1.15 trillion won, although its annual revenue increased 3.8 percent on-year to 24.34 trillion won.

This image shows KT Corp.'s corporate logo. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

KT attributed its weak 2019 earnings to increased network investment and marketing costs for its commercial 5G service.

Last year, KT's capital expenditures reached 3.2 trillion won, up 65 percent from a year ago, as it beefed up efforts to set up 5G base stations nationwide.

As of February, KT said it has more than 71,000 5G base stations, covering some 85 municipalities in South Korea.

In the fourth quarter, KT posted a net loss of 6.8 billion won, turning from a profit of 18.1 billion won a year earlier.

The company's operating profit, however, rose 54.7 percent on-year to 148.2 billion won in the October-December period, while sales increased 3.4 percent to 6.19 trillion won.

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