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SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) — LG Uplus Corp., South Korea’s third-largest mobile carrier, reported Tuesday that its second-quarter net income had jumped nearly 32 percent compared to the same period in the previous year, due to its powerful wireless services sector.
The company’s net income totaled 213.3 billion won (US$163.3 million) in the April-June period, a 31.7 percent surge from the year before, according to a regulatory filing. Operating profit was 288 billion won, a 15.9 percent rise from the year before. Revenue rose 1.3 percent to 3.42 trillion won.
The earnings exceeded market expectations. The average forecast of net profit by analysts was 174.3 billion won, according to a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.
Wireless business sales rose 2.5 percent year-on-year to 1.57 trillion won in the second quarter, driven by a substantial increase in mobile virtual network operators and the revival of roaming sales. The number of its mobile subscribers had grown by 14.3 percent y/y to 21 million as of the end of June, with its 5G network users accounting for 57.2 percent of the total.
LG Uplus’ smart home business also experienced its sales grow 4 percent to 502.9 billion won in the three-month period ending in June, due to an increase in IPTV and high-speed internet subscriptions. IPTV increased 2.8 percent y/y, while broadband grew 5.6 percent y/y, thanks to the steady growth of subscribers to Giga, LG Uplus’ high-speed internet service.
The company’s business-to-business sector posted 1.1 percent y/y growth based on new business agreements and the launch of related products. LG Uplus said a contract for wireless communication circuits in all Hyundai and Kia models in 2023 is expected to have a positive effect on its smart mobility revenue, and U+Drive is set to be integrated into all Toyota car models to be released later this year.
In an earnings call, the company said it aimed to become one of the country’s main providers of electric charging services. Last month, LG Uplus signed a contract with Kakao Mobility Corp., a mobility subsidiary of South Korea’s tech giant Kakao Corp, to establish a joint venture for an electric charging business. Each company has invested 25 billion won in the joint venture.
“The joint venture aims to provide high-quality charging services based on LG Uplus’ expertise of building and running infrastructure,” LG Uplus Chief Financial Officer Yeo Myung-hee said during the call.
The company said it will first build standard charging stations in homes around the country, before expanding into the fast charging service. LG Uplus launched the electric vehicle charging service, VoltUp, earlier this year and streamlined other services as part of its strategy to expand its business portfolio to the burgeoning business.
LG Uplus shares went down 1.46 percent to 10,090 won on the Seoul bourse Tuesday, underperforming the wider market’s 0.26 percent loss.