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SK Telecom Sees Modest Growth in Q4 2023 Amid AI Strategic Push

The telecom giant outlines AI expansion plans and records a 30.5% year-over-year surge in operating profit for the fourth quarter
South Korea
s 017670.KO Mid and Small Cap 2000
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SK Telecom reported a slight increase in sales and operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2023, with sales rising by 1.8% to KRW 3.2043 trillion and operating profit increasing by 3.5% to KRW 254 billion compared to the previous quarter. Despite a significant drop in operating profit from the previous quarter, the company achieved a 30.5% increase compared to the same period last year. This performance caps a year where SK Telecom’s consolidated sales grew by 1.8% to KRW 17.6685 trillion, and operating profit rose by 8.8% to KRW 1.7532 trillion.

SK Telecom’s Chief Financial Officer, Kim Yang-seop, highlighted the company’s focus on becoming a global AI leader, emphasizing the ‘AI Pyramid Strategy’ introduced in the previous year. The strategy, showcased at CES 2024, aims to leverage AI to revolutionize daily life and expand global partnerships.

The company’s AI endeavors include the development of a next-generation AI data center business, which saw a 30% sales increase in 2023, and the launch of the ‘X330’, a cutting-edge AI chipset by Sapion. SK Telecom is also advancing its large language model (LLM) strategy and AI transformation (AIX) across various sectors, including mobile, broadband, enterprise, and more. The telco’s 5G subscriber base reached 15.67 million by the end of 2023, highlighting the ongoing digital transformation and commitment to innovative technologies.

Furthermore, SK Telecom is venturing into urban air mobility (UAM) and AI-based services, aiming to lead in new growth areas. The company’s dividend policy for 2023 reflects a commitment to shareholder value, with a total dividend of KRW 3,540 per share.

For 2024, SK Telecom targets consolidated sales of KRW 17.9 trillion, acknowledging the challenges ahead but expressing determination to maximize corporate and shareholder value through its strategic focus on AI and new business ventures.

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