KT Tightens Purse Strings

9:25 AM -- KT Corp. reported an operating profit of 384.5 billion South Korea Won (US$286.7 million) for the first quarter, a 15.4 percent year-on-year increase, despite a 6.5 percent drop in operating revenues from the previous year.

KT's improved profitability is the result of a KRW403.4 billion ($301.2 million) reduction in operating expenses.

Advertising and labor costs were the biggest victims of cuts, but R&D didn't get away unscathed. At KRW43.8 billion ($37.2 million), it was the lowest quarterly spend by the company for two years.

For more on KT's results, see this Reuters report.

Despite the cuts, innovations are still coming out of KT's labs. Apparently, KT is looking to breathe new life into its beleaguered WiBro service with a translation dongle that means any WiFi device can access the WiBro network. Check out this ET News report for more details.

KT is also due to fully integrate its successful mobile arm, KT Freetel Co. , on June 1. This will create a single entity more capable of delivering the converged triple-play services that are the latest battleground in the Korean telecom market.

— Catherine Haslam, Asia Editor, Light Reading

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