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SK Telecom to increase capex this year

[THE INVESTOR] SK Telecom said July 28 that it would increase its capital expenditure by 100 billion won (US$88.90 million) to 2.1 trillion won this year to upgrade its existing telecommunications infrastructure.

The company announced the investment plan after announcing its second-quarter earnings on the day.

The head office of SK Telecom in Seoul
The head office of SK Telecom in Seoul

Some market watchers considered the latest decision an unexpected move as the nation’s telecom market has reached a near-saturation point.

The mobile network operator’s attempt to increase its presence in the pay TV market by acquiring cable TV firm CJ HelloVision was blocked by the nation’s antitrust watchdog recently.

The company, meanwhile, saw its operating profit drop 1.3 percent to 407.4 billion won, which missed market expectations of around 426.5 billion won polled with investment firms.

The one-time spending for severance pay, at 110 billion won, and other costs to expand its mobile businesses including navigation app T-map have reportedly weighed heavily on the company.

By Kim Young-won (