Iriver reports first net profit in four years

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Iriver reports first net profit in four years


Iriver, a Korean mobile device and MP3 player maker, yesterday reported an operating profit for fiscal year 2012, its first in four years.

Thanks to the turnaround, iRiver has evaded the threat of being designated as a “stock under control” on the secondary Kosdaq. Companies that post operating losses for four straight years are subject to the Kosdaq management rule and one more bad year delists the stock automatically.

The regulatory filing showed iRiver posted 91.3 billion won ($8.35 million) in sales and 1.17 billion won operating profit last year.

“Educational robots, electronic dictionaries and e-book readers, as well as high-end portable digital music player Astell & Kern, are the biggest contributors [to the turnaround],” iRiver said in a release.

The nation’s first MP3 player producer came up with the device before Apple did in the early 2000s and had struggled to keep up with rapidly changing trends in the tech industry. In response, iRiver restructured its management and product portfolio.

As a result, MP3 players and portable media players, or PMPs, accounted for just 14 percent of the company’s overall revenue last year, down from 40 percent a year earlier. At the same time, the revenue share of Kibot, a robot it co-developed with mobile carrier KT, and e-book reader Story K grew to almost 40 percent. Astell & Kern’s robust sales in the United States and Japan - 15,000 units since last October - has also driven sales.

“The turnaround last year, we hope, will pave the way for iRiver to leap further in the near future given that we have stabilized and overcome the crisis,” said iRiver CEO Park Il-hwan.

By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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