Posts filed under ‘Korea’
KTF, Korea’s second-biggest mobile carrier, said Wednesday its fourth-quarter earnings almost doubled from a year earlier thanks largely to reduced marketing costs.
Net income stood at 101.9 billion won (US$73.7 million) in the October-December period, compared with 53.1 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing. The bottom line was also up 38.5 percent from three months earlier. Sales rose 0.4 percent on-year to 1.95 trillion won and operating profit soared 60.9 percent to 207.7 billion won, it said.
For all of 2008, however, net profit tumbled 32.6 percent on-year to 164.6 billion won due to increased marketing expenses and investment. Sales climbed 14.4 percent to 8.35 trillion won with operating income rising 3.1 percent to 454.4 billion won. Shares of KTF rose 0.6 percent to 30,150 won as of 2:13 p.m. on the Seoul bourse.
KTF attributed the improved fourth-quarter net to lower marketing costs. The company said its marketing costs fell 8 percent on-year to 394.7 billion won last quarter.
As of end-December, KTF had 14.4 million customers, up 4.7 percent from a year earlier. The company painted a gloomy outlook for this year, saying sales will remain sluggish due to weak demand and severe competition.
As the nation’s telecom market becomes increasingly saturated, companies are trying to promote combined fixed and mobile services to cut costs and woo customers from rivals.
Last week, KTF announced a plan to merge with its parent company KT, which is South Korea’s top fixed-line and Internet service provider. The plan is subject to approval by the telecom regulator and shareholders. South Korea boasts of a high mobile phone penetration rate with more than nine out of 10 people owning a cellular phone.
According to Reuters, South Korean fixed line and broadband operator KT Corp (KT) has announced it will merge with mobile operator KTF Corp. The announcement comes after rumours of a tie-up last week, with the board of KT approving the merger yesterday. As KT will absorb the mobile operator it has been reported that KTF shareholders will receive 0.7192335 of a KT share for every KTF share they own. KT has also said it will sell USD253 million bonds exchangeable into its stocks to NTT DoCoMo as part of the merger plan, with the Japanese firm set to transfer 60% of its holding in KTF to KT. The merger still needs to gain approval from the government before it can go ahead, with the Korean Communications Commission expected to approve the merger by April 2009.
Samsung is full of sales figures, after announcing a couple of months ago that it just sold a bunch of cameraphones, now Samsung is announcing 10 million touchscreen phones were sold during 2008 alone. With 37 million full touch screens circulating around the globe, this translates into Samsung owning nearly one-third of the market. One in every four touchscreen phone is also a Samsung, and Europe sold over 4 million units sold, while 2.2 million units were sold in the U.S., 1.12 million in Korea and 910,000 in China.
SK Telecom has launched corporate services for RIM’s BlackBerry Bold smart phone, with the device expected to debut at the end of the month, reports AP. RIM, along with other foreign-made internet-enabled phones were long hindered from rolling out in South Korea by a rule that required all handsets to run a local technology, though an exception to that law, allowed for Bold’s launch. Telecoms regulator, the Korean Communications Commission, lifted the ban last week, with the abolition of the rule to go into effect in April 2009.
Apple and RIM may be eating into its share of the smart phone market in developed markets, but Nokia is still king of the smart phone in China, where its third quarter share of sales reached an overwhelmingly dominant 69.3 percent, according to a new research report from China research group CCID Consultancy.
Nokia does especially well, CCID found, as the handset maker has a product offering that spans the low, mid, and high tiers of the market. There was also good news for the embattled Motorola, which has the second largest share of the Chinese smartphone market, cornering 19.9 percent of Q3 sales. Motorola does best with the mid-range of the market. The combined share of the two companies accounts for nearly 90 percent of smartphone sales in China. In third place, was local handset maker Dopod (4.7 percent), followed by Korean electronics firm Samsung (2.5 percent).
As for the actual number of handsets sold, the figure was 7.474 million, staying mostly flat (up 0.6 percent from the second quarter). Sales revenues in the third quarter hit 18.17 billion yuan ($2.65 billion), up 4.5 percent from Q2. Smart phone sales accounted for 19.3 percent of total mobile phone sales in China.
CCID expects China’s smartphone sales to grow moderately, but may see a boost from the launch of Android-based smart phones, which the research group said has caught the attention of many phone manufacturers in China.