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(2nd LD) KT Q1 net down 13 pct on virus fallout

All News 16:15 May 13, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 6, 10, 12)

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- KT Corp., South Korea's leading telecommunications firm, on Wednesday said its first-quarter net profit dropped from a year ago due to the novel coronavirus fallout.

KT reported a net profit of 226.6 billion won (US$184.7 million) on a consolidated basis in the first three months of the year, down 12.8 percent from a year earlier.

Operating income for the January-March period was 383.1 billion won, also down 4.7 percent from a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing. Sales stayed nearly flat at 5.83 trillion won.

KT said decreased earnings from its credit card and hotel affiliates amid the novel coronavirus pandemic dented its first-quarter business results. Non-operating losses more than tripled from a year earlier and also dragged down its bottom line.

This image provided by KT Corp. shows the corporate logo of the company. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

KT said revenue from its mobile business rose 1.9 percent on-year to 1.7 trillion won in the first quarter, thanks to increased 5G service subscribers.

The company had 1.78 million 5G users, up 360,000 from the previous quarter, accounting for 8 percent of its 21.98 million mobile service subscribers.

KT said revenue from its fixed line business declined 7 percent on-year to 372.5 billion won, but sales from its IPTV business surged 11.9 percent on-year to 417.7 billion won.

The company had 8.42 million IPTV subscribers as of the first quarter, up 5.7 percent from a year earlier.

Revenue from its internet service business inched up 0.5 percent on-year to 502.5 billion won.

However, sales of its credit card unit, BC Card Co., in which KT holds a controlling stake of 69.5 percent, declined 7.7 percent on-year to 799.4 billion won in the first quarter. Its real estate development unit, KT estate Inc., suffered an 8.4 percent on-year drop in revenue after collecting 106.7 billion won in the first quarter due to the novel coronavirus fallout.

In the first three months of 2020, KT's capital expenditure reached 406.9 billion won. The company plans to spend 3.1 trillion won for facility investment this year.

Shares in KT rose 0.63 percent to close at 23,800 won, slightly underperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.95 percent gain. The earnings results were released before the market closed.

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