Naver posts high Q2 sales, growth

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Naver posts high Q2 sales, growth

The nation’s No. 1 portal Naver continued to post high growth in the second quarter with its sales and profit reporting double-digit growth from a year earlier.

For the first time, more than 30 percent of the company’s sales were from overseas, proving that Naver is becoming a global corporation.

The company said in a conference call yesterday that it posted 697.8 billion won ($676 million) in sales in the second quarter, a 22.2 percent increase over the same period last year, and 191.2 billion won in operating profit, a 38.5 percent increase from a year earlier.

Revenue from its mobile messenger Line shot up 56.3 percent year-on-year to post 183.2 billion won.

The number of Line users - expected to surpass 600 million by the end of the year - has reached 480 million worldwide.

“The proportion of overseas sales has increased continuously and its shares of total sales surpassed 30 percent for the first time in the second quarter,” said Kim Sang-hun, CEO of Naver Corporation.

“Naver is constantly transforming into a global company and we plan to push for globalization with more diverse services.”

The company’s overseas sales, of which 90 percent came from Japan in the first quarter, diversified in the second quarter with countries besides Japan accounting for more than 20 percent for the first time.

“Among the total sales of Line, Japan accounted for 75 percent and other regions controlled 25 percent in the second quarter,” said Hwang In-joon, CFO of Naver.

“When we only look at the games business, games such as Cookie Run became popular in Taiwan and Thailand so the sales share of Japan dropped below 80 percent for the first time in the second quarter.”

Until the first quarter, Line’s revenue from Japan accounted for more than 80 percent.

However, the CFO added that Naver’s operating profit could post a loss in the second half, as it plans to increase marketing expenses.

Along with the marketing, the portal company will focus on strengthening its mobile content.

“Growth potential in major service sectors such as webtoons, books, videos and games is growing,” said the CEO.

“We will further develop these culture contents to succeed in the global market in the long term, starting with the global launch of a webtoon app.”

During the conference call, Naver denied rumors that it is considering a partnership with Japan’s Softbank and China’s Alibaba Group, saying those two companies had not made an investment.


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