The Korea Herald

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KT, LS tie-up gains momentum

By Yu Ji-soo

Published : March 28, 2023 - 16:30

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KT Submarine's cable laying barge GL 2030. (KT Submarine) KT Submarine's cable laying barge GL 2030. (KT Submarine)

KT Submarine, a marine business unit of South Korean telecommunications giant KT Corp., is gaining fresh momentum in sales.

The company posted 42.8 billion won ($33 million) in sales last year, a 43.2 percent jump from a year ago, largely driven by global orders in key markets such as the US and the Philippines.

Its operating deficit, however, increased from 5.1 billion won to 6.6 billion won during the same period due to one-time expenses for upgrading equipment.

“This year, we plan to continue the growth momentum in the partnership with our second-largest shareholder LS Cable,” the company said in a statement. “By improving operational efficiency while reducing fixed costs, we also expect to turn a profit this year.”

Earlier, the company paved the way for business expansion by acquiring the nation’s largest cable-laying barge GL2030. On Feb. 21, the company also signed a deal to join LS Cable’s submarine cable project near Jeju Island.

The company said it will expand its global presence by teaming up with LS Cable to work together in several areas such as offshore wind plants and island submarine connection projects in Southeast Asia.

Industry watchers also offer a positive outlook for their synergy, citing LS Cable’s business expansion in overseas markets, with its accumulative submarine cable orders exceeding 1.2 trillion won.

“After the 2020 incident, where one of our ships sank from a fire, we had difficulty expanding our business,” KT Submarine President and CEO Lee Seung-yong said.

“This partnership is an opportunity for us to establish our foothold in the submarine communications industry.”

LS Cable, which currently holds a 16.2 percent stake in KT Submarine, is expected to become the largest shareholder when it exercises its call option sometime between April and July this year.