(2nd LD) KT Q1 net profit down 32 pct due to base effect

KT Corp., South Korea’s No. 2 wireless carrier, said Thursday its first-quarter net profit declined 32 percent from a year earlier due to a base effect.

KT’s net income amounted to 309.6 billion won (US$234.2 million) on a consolidated basis in the first three months of the year, down from the previous year’s 455.4 billion won, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Operating profit for the January-March period was 486.1 billion won, down 22.4 percent from 626.6 billion won a year ago, while quarterly revenue rose 2.6 percent on-year to 6.44 trillion won from the previous year’s 6.28 trillion won.

The earnings failed to meet market expectations. The average estimate of net profit by analysts stood at 337.5 billion won, according to a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.

KT said the on-year decline in net profit is blamed on a higher base effect stemming from real estate sales worth 74.6 billion won last year.

Sales of its business-to-customer wireless business edged up 1.2 percent on-year to 2.38 trillion won in the first quarter, with the number of 5G subscribers reaching 8.94 million, which accounted for 65 percent of all of KT’s mobile users.

Its content business sales gained 3.1 percent to 566.1 billion won over the cited period thanks to rising demand for its renewed IPTV service, Genie TV.

Shares in KT fell 0.32 percent to close at 31,250 won, underperforming the broader KOSPI’s 0.22 percent loss.

Source: Yonhap News Agency