Seoul, South Korea - SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) reported steady third-quarter results this week as the company advances its strategy to become a global AI company.
SK Telecom posted consolidated revenues of KRW 4.4 trillion, up 1.4% from last year. Operating income increased by 7% to KRW 498 billion.
The company said the growth was driven by sustained competitiveness in core telecommunications and rapid expansion in data centers and cloud services.
Why It Matters:
SK Telecom's third-quarter results glimpse the company's execution as it transforms from a legacy telco to a global AI company.
The Key Points
- The company's core telecom business has held steady amid the AI transformation. SK Telecom's 5G subscriber base grew to 15.15 million during the quarter, while its broadband and pay TV units also held steady.
- The company seeks to bolster its capabilities in AI data centers, semiconductors, and large-scale language models. Its chip unit plans to launch a next-generation inference chip this year.
- In AI services, SK Telecom's new assistant A. has seen initial solid adoption since its launch in September. The company plans to add translation capabilities.
Deep dive into the business.
Data center revenue increased 32.5% year-on-year, reflecting SK Telecom's push into AI infrastructure.
The company aims to strengthen its capabilities in AI data centers, semiconductors, and large-scale language models. SK Telecom's AI chip unit SAPEON plans to launch its next-generation X330 inference chip this year.
Regarding AI services, SK Telecom's new personal assistant “A.” has seen initial solid adoption since its launch in September. The company plans to add real-time translation and partner with global telecom operators to expand the service.
SK Telecom's ifland metaverse has attracted nearly 50% of overseas users, leading to collaborations with Deutsche Telekom and others. Ifland launched an economic system this month to expand its platform.
Revenue from cloud services grew nearly 39% year-on-year, marking six consecutive quarters of recurring revenue above 90%. SK Telecom is focused on applying AI solutions to drive shareholder value.
What They Say:
"Third-quarter results demonstrate SK Telecom's steady execution as it transitions to an AI-focused future,"
SK Telecom said.
What Comes Next?
SK Telecom will continue to pursue partnerships to expand into sectors such as air mobility and healthcare.
It is also maintaining key initiatives in infrastructure, enterprise offerings, and consumer services as part of its AI transformation.
SK Telecom's Board of Directors has maintained a dividend of KRW 830 per share.
The company is also undergoing a KRW 300 billion share buyback program announced in July.