Success of Line boosts Naver’s sales

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Success of Line boosts Naver’s sales

NHN’s mobile messenger app Line now has more than 340 million users worldwide, according to NHN CEO Kim Sang-hun yesterday.

The number of new subscribers is constantly rising, not only Asia but also in countries in Europe and the Americas such as Turkey, Italy and Mexico.

On a conference call in which NHN released its earnings performance for the fourth quarter of 2013, Kim said the number of Line subscribers is increasing at a rate of 60,000 per day.

Thanks to the rapid growth of its mobile messenger, NHN’s overall revenue for the fourth quarter increased 27.7 percent compared to a year earlier to 641.1 billion won ($595.6 million).

Line’s revenue shot up 232.2 percent year-on-year, posting 136.9 billion won and accounting for 21.35 percent of NHN’s entire sales.

“This year’s goal for Line is to become the No. 1 messenger in many countries,” said Kim, implying that Naver will focus on global growth.

NHN’s operating profit fell 2.1 percent from the same period of 2012 to reach 154.3 billion won. But it increased 47.6 percent compared to the previous quarter.

The app has been downloaded more than 10 million times in seven countries. Japan has the largest number of Line users at more than 50 million. Line has 22 million users in Thailand, 17 million in Indonesia, 16 million in India and 15 million in Spain.

This year, NHN is expected to focus on new subscribers in the United States, while attempting to increase its presence in South America and Europe.

In addition to Line, the company said it will globally promote the closed social network Band, which it operates through subsidiary Camp Mobile. Band has 23 million users worldwide.

To enhance the competitiveness of its service, NHN also plans to launch a game platform in Band during the first quarter of this year. 



BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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