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SK Networks Accelerates Transformation into AI Investment Powerhouse

The South Korean firm sets ambitious goals, aiming to triple operating profit by 2026 through AI integration across sectors
South Korea
s 001740.KO Mid and Small Cap 2000
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SK Networks Co. is reinforcing its commitment to become a leading force in the artificial intelligence (AI) investment landscape. The company’s president and COO, Choi Sunghwan, announced at an investor meeting in Seoul that SK Networks is on a steadfast path to “democratize AI,” ensuring widespread benefits from AI technology advancements. This declaration underscores the company’s strategic pivot towards becoming an AI-centric investment entity, with ambitions to significantly boost its operating profit to 700 billion won by 2026.

Choi outlined a comprehensive growth strategy focused on embedding AI technologies into SK Networks’ core businesses, including rental services, data management, and hospitality. This vision was first shared at AI WAVE 2023, signaling a shift from a traditional trading firm to a pioneering AI investment company. The strategic transformation involves bolstering both software and hardware AI capabilities, leading to enhanced services across its subsidiaries.

A notable initiative includes transforming SK Magic Inc., a subsidiary specializing in home appliance and lifestyle solutions, into an AI Wellness platform. This platform will offer a range of care services, targeting pets, the elderly, and healthcare in general. The company is also eyeing international expansion, targeting markets like the US and India, aiming for a 20% operating profit margin by 2028.

Furthermore, SK Networks’ data service and consulting arm, en-core, is expected to significantly contribute to the company’s profitability by 2026, emphasizing the importance of seamless AI integration in business operations.

This move is part of SK Networks’ broader strategy to diversify its investment portfolio in technology startups, leveraging a substantial cash reserve. Recent investments include significant contributions to US healthcare startup LVIS Corp. and Korean pet care startup BMSmile, among others. Additionally, the firm plans to enhance its hospitality unit, Walkerhill Hotels & Resorts, by integrating AI with Korean pop culture to offer personalized guest services, aiming to boost occupancy and profitability.

SK Networks’ aggressive push into AI technology investment marks a significant milestone in its evolution, positioning the company at the forefront of technological innovation and business transformation.

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