|SK Telecom profit surges in 2013
SK Telecom, South Korea's biggest wireless operator, said Tuesday its net profit for 2013 jumped 44.3 percent on increased value of its stock investment and expansion of lucrative 4G services.
Net profit jumped to 1.6 trillion won from 1.1 trillion won in 2012, while operating profit rose 16.2 percent to 2.0 trillion won from 1.7 trillion won, AFP reports.
The firm said net profit was boosted by the increased value of its stock holdings in SK Hynix, the world's number two memory chipmaker whose annual net profit for 2013 hit a record high.
Sales also rose 2.9 percent to 16.6 trillion won, the company said in a statement.
Net profit for October-December came in at 293.6 billion won, down 43 percent from a year ago when the firm's bottom line was boosted by one-off sales of property and a stake in steel giant POSCO.
Operating profit for the fourth-quarter fell 5.4 percent on-year to 509.7 billion on heavy spending for marketing, while sales rose 3.3 percent to 4.29 trillion won.
The company said the number of subscribers to its 4G long-term evolution (LTE) service rose to 13.5 million at the end of last year -- about a half of its entire customer base.
A year ago, the firm had 7.53 million customers for the LTE service, which offers quicker connection speed.
South Korea -- one of the world's most-wired nations -- has about 37 million smartphone owners -- in a total population of 50 million.
At least 27 million -- or more than 70 percent -- are using LTE services, according to data from the country's three wireless operators.