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  • Korean Telecom Firms Enjoy Major Sales Increases
  • November 30, 1998 (SEOUL) -- Sales of Korean telecommunications carriers are increasing at brisk rates despite the severity of the country's recession.
    The Ministry of Information and Communications said that the sales volume of Korea's major telecom firms increased 20.5 percent from a year earlier to 11.89 trillion won (US$9.51 billion) during the initial nine months of the year.

    In Korea's wireless telecom sector, sales of the five mobile phone companies skyrocketed 72.3 percent to 3.72 trillion won in that period.

    SK Telecom's total sales jumped 10.4 percent year on year to 2.64 trillion won, with sales in its mobile phone unit increasing 17.4 percent to reach 2.18 trillion won in the January-September period. However, sales of its pager business dropped 15.1 percent from a year ago.

    Shinsegi Telecom Inc.'s sales nearly doubled from the same period a year earlier to 527.6 billion won. Korea Telecom Freetel Co., Ltd.'s sales reached 412.6 billion won. Those of LG Telecom reached 339 billion and Hansol PCS Co., Ltd.'s sales registered 271.2 billion won.

    In the online service sector, Chollian's sales increased 40.4 percent year on year to 78.9 billion won, while Hitel saw a rise of 33.8 percent.

    Nowcom's sales reached 28.3 billion won, and Samsung SDS Co., Ltd. marked 60 billion won in profits.

    In the wired telecom market, Dacom Corp., the nation's second largest phone operator, saw a drop in sales in its long-distance phone services, but total sales climbed 6.8 percent year on year to 518.8 billion won. And Onse Telecom's sales registered 73.3 billion won.

    By contrast, Korea Telecom (KT) suffered losses in its local, long distance and international phone operations, recording declines of 3.1 percent, 11.5 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively. This was due to an explosive increase in subscribers in the mobile phone sector. The company saw its profits grow 7.4 percent from a year earlier to 6.49 trillion won, with net profits falling 0.6 percent from the year before, the ministry said.

    If the sales of telecom firms continue to increase steadily, this year's total sales may exceed 17 trillion won, the ministry added.

    (Maeil Business Newspaper, Korea)

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    Updated: Fri Nov 27 23:53:46 1998 PDT