SK Telecom posts 11% higher Q2 profit on back of new 5G subscriptions

SK Telecom secured nearly a million new 5G subscribers during its second quarter.

SK Telecom posted double-digit growth in its operating income during the second quarter, thanks to an influx of new 5G subscribers that boosted profitability.

On Wednesday, the South Korean telco said it recorded 4.81 trillion won in sales, and 397 billion won in operating income during the second quarter, an increase of 4.7% and 10.8%, respectively, from the previous year.

Its main mobile network operator business contributed 328 billion won in operating income, which was over 80% of the company's total income for the quarter. Compared to its performance last year, this was an increase of 21.7%.

As of the end of June, SK Telecom said it accrued a total of 7.7 million 5G subscribers, with nearly a million of those subscribers joining during the second quarter.

Together with its subsidiary SK Broadband, the telco spent 849 billion won on building up its 5G networks and fixed internet infrastructure during the quarter, triple that of the first quarter, it added.

Like its compatriot telcos KT and LG Uplus, SK Telecom also saw its content services perform solidly during the quarter. The telco's IPTV service business saw operating income increase 4.9% year-on-year, contributing 64.2 billion won.

Meanwhile, in April, the telco announced that it would split into two companies. The surviving company plans to keep existing telco assets. In contrast, the spin-off company will take over operations of SK Telecom's various tech subsidiaries, such as the chip giant SK Hynix, e-commerce company 11th Street, and ride-sharing app T Map Mobility, among others. 

The split was approved by the company's board in June and will go through shareholders' approval in October.

SK Telecom said it intends for the surviving company to continue to focus on 5G, home media, and other core services for growth for the remainder of the year, much like it did for the second quarter.

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