(2nd LD) LG Uplus turns to black in Q4 on 5G user growth, logs record annual operating profit

이원주 / 2022-01-28 16:30:04
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(2nd LD) LG Uplus-Q4 earnings
▲ This file photo from July 23, 2020, shows LG Uplus Corp.'s logo at its headquarters in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

(2nd LD) LG Uplus-Q4 earnings

(2nd LD) LG Uplus turns to black in Q4 on 5G user growth, logs record annual operating profit

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with info from conference call)

By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- LG Uplus Corp., South Korea's third-largest mobile carrier, said Friday it shifted to black in the fourth quarter from a year earlier on the back of growth in media service and 5G network subscriptions.

Net income for the October-December period stood at 101.8 billion won (US$84.5 million), marking a turnaround from a loss of 224.7 billion won the previous year, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The company's operating profit dipped 9.8 percent on-year to 158.2 billion won while sales rose 2.7 percent on-year to 3.61 trillion won over the cited period.

South Korea's No. 3 mobile carrier said annual operating profit jumped 10.5 percent to an all-time high of 979 billion won last year, though it fell slightly short of the company's much-anticipated goal of 1 trillion won.

The company said in a statement that broader growth in subscribers of its mobile network and internet protocol television (IPTV) services helped boost its performance in the fourth quarter.

Sales from the mobile carrier's wireless service business over the cited period inched 0.1 percent on-year to 1.52 trillion won on the back of growth in its 5G network subscribers.

LG Uplus' total wireless service subscribers, including those from its subsidiary LG HelloVision Corp., stood at 18 million as of the end of December, up 8 percent from the previous year.

The telecom operator's smart home business, which includes its IPTV and high-speed internet services, logged 566.5 billion won in sales, up 9.5 percent from the previous year on increasing demand for home services.

LG Uplus said it experienced explosive demand for media content services last year due to the prolonged COVID-pandemic.

Since November, the company has been exclusively offering Disney+ through its IPTV platform, boosting competitiveness against rivals KT Corp. and SK Telecom Co.

"By offering Disney's six major contents, including Pixar and Marvel, we were able to strengthen the competitivenes of LG Uplus' media platform," a company official said during a conference call.

The mobile carrier added that its business infrastructure division, which includes internet data centers, logged robust growth, with sales reaching 397.7 billion won in the fourth quarter, up 10.2 percent from the previous year.

The company also enjoyed a strong annual performance thanks to increased mobile subscribers. For 2021, LG Uplus' sales gained 3.2 percent on-year to 13.85 trillion won, and its net profit jumped 51.5 percent to 724.2 billion won.

LG Uplus' 5G user base has steadily grown, reaching 4.46 million as of the end of November last year, according to government data.


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