SK Telecom said its consolidated Q3 net income climbed 186% year-on-year to 502 billion won ($472.4 million), as gains from chipmaker subsidiary SK Hynix and the sale of a business unit outweighed largely flat revenue.
Operating revenue grew just 1% year-on-year to 4.12 trillion won, although revenues from SK Telecom's core mobile service segment improved 2.9% to 2.78 trillion won.
But an improved 223 billion won contribution to net income from SK Hynix - as well as a 172 billion won gain from the sale of a controlling stake in South Korean record label LOEN Entertainment - boosted the company's bottom line.
SK Telecom's mobile subscriber base grew 1.6% year-on-year in Q3 to 27.2 million. LTE subscribers more than doubled to over 12.5 million - around 45% of SK Telecom's total subscriber base.
Likewise, smartphone subscribers increased to 17.9 million - or 66% of the total subscriber base – up from 16 million and 59.3% at end-2012.
The larger proportion of LTE and smartphone subscribers helped contribute to a 6.2% year-on-year increase in total ARPU to 42,780 won. Capex meanwhile declined 47% year-on-year now that the operator has completed its nationwide LTE rollout.