SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) — LG Uplus Corp., South Korea’s third-largest mobile carrier, said Wednesday its first-quarter net profit rose 35 percent from a year earlier on the back of growth in 5G network subscriptions.

Net income for the January-March period stood at 200.9 billion won (US$178.9 million), compared with 148.8 billion won the previous year, according to a company regulatory filing.

Operating profit increased 25.4 percent to 275.6 billion won over the cited period, beating analysts’ estimates by 15.7 percent, according to data compiled by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency.

LG Uplus’ sales in the first quarter rose 4 percent on-year to 3.42 trillion won.

 The company said in a statement that broader growth in subscribers of its mobile network and internet protocol television (IPTV) services helped boost its performance in the quarter.

Sales from the mobile carrier’s wireless service business grew 5.4 percent on-year to 1.41 trillion won on the back of growth in its 5G network subscribers.

As of the end of the first quarter, the mobile carrier had 3.3 million 5G users, up 129.2 percent from the previous year.

The company said in a conference call that its 5G subscribers will likely surpass earlier estimates of 4.5 million by the end of this year.

Sales from the telecom operator’s smart home business, which includes its IPTV and high-speed internet services, rose 8.8 percent on-year to 530 billion won.

The company said its IPTV subscribers rose 10.4 percent to 5 million over the cited period, while high-speed internet users increased 5.5 percent to 4.59 million.

The mobile carrier’s business infrastructure business, which includes its internet data center service, continued to grow in the first quarter.

Sales from the category increased 9 percent on-year to 341.5 billion won.

The company said it has newly formed an environmental, social and governance (ESG) committee on Wednesday, which plans to discuss measures to boost shareholder value.

LG Uplus Chief Financial Officer Lee Hyuk-ju said in the conference call that he expected the company’s dividends to increase this year compared with a year earlier.

Shares in LG Uplus fell 0.68 percent to 14,600 won, outperforming the broader KOSPI’s 1.49 percent loss. The company reported its first-quarter earnings before the market closed.