Kakao operating profit up 47 percent on yearKakao’s operating profit rose 47 percent in the second quarter, helped along by the solid performances of Ryan the maneless lion, Apeach and other characters in the company’s licensing stable.
The messenger-to-mobility IT company reported an operating profit of 40.5 billion won ($33.5 million) in the three months to June, compared with the 27.6 billion won in the same period a year earlier and 27.7 billion won in the first quarter.
Sales jumped 24 percent on year to 733.0 billion won in the second quarter from 588.9 billion won in the same period last year. Kakao divides its business into platform and content segments.
Revenue for the content business surged 20 percent to 406.2 billion won in the second quarter from a year earlier. Kakao said that its Melon music streaming app, webtoons and novels did particularly well.
The largest increase within the segment came from Kakao’s intellectual property (IP) business, which generates profits from selling Kakao character goods and charging royalty fees. Sales in the sector grew 82 percent on year to 82 billion won, but the number is down 6 percent from the first quarter.
Kakao’s music business posted revenue of 144.6 billion won, up 11 percent from a year earlier. But game business revenue decreased 12 percent on year to 98.4 billion won.
For the platform business, which includes advertising sales on KakaoTalk and Daum as well as fees from new businesses, revenue rose 30 percent to 326.8 billion won in the second quarter from a year earlier. Sales from the mobile messaging platform increased 42 percent on year to 138.9 billion won.
Sales from new businesses, such as Kakao Pay and Kakao Mobility, which includes the taxi-hailing app, more than doubled on year to 51 billion won, but the number is down 15 percent from the first quarter.
Kakao said it will expand the number of partners for its new “KakaoTalk Biz Board” advertising platform, which has been under closed beta testing since May.
It also vowed to increase investment in the internet-only Kakao Bank, after gaining approval from the Financial Services Commission last month to raise its stake in the company from 18 percent to 34 percent.
BY KO JUN-TAE [firstname.lastname@example.org]