KT sees Q3 profit drop 6.4%

Remote services grew, but subsidiaries in traditional industries contract in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Korean telco KT said on Friday that it had posted operating income of 292 billion won and sales of 6 trillion won for the third quarter of 2020.

It is a decline of 6.4% and 3.4%, respectively, from the same time period a year ago.

KT saw growth in remote services, but its subsidiaries in more traditional industries contracted from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The carrier said sales for mobile services grew around 1% from 2019 to 1.74 trillion won.

Handset sales dipped 24% year-on-year but was somewhat offset by an increase in 5G subscribers. The company said it had 2.81 million 5G subscribers as of the third quarter.

KT's IPTV business grew 12% from a year ago due to the stay-at-home trend, it said.

The telco said it also saw demand continue for IT services such as cloud and data centre from enterprises due to the acceleration of digital transformation in light of the pandemic.

However, it saw its credit card subsidiary BC Card and real estate service firm KT Estate perform lower due to decreased demand as a result of the virus, KT said.

The telco said it will aim for a turnaround in the fourth quarter with the recent launch of the iPhone 12 to increase 5G subscribers.

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