Naver’s operating profit jumps 88%

October 30, 2014

Naver followed suit after Daum Kakao announced an active protest against government requests to view its message database.

By Yoon Sung-won

Naver, the nation’s largest Internet service provider, said Thursday its operating profit in the third quarter jumped 88 percent from a year ago on the back of strong sales growth in overseas markets.

Its operating profit in the July to September period came in at 189 billion won ($179.36 million), compared with 100.5 billion won in the same period last year, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Naver posted 700 billion won in sales in the quarter, up 22.3 percent from a year earlier, while its net profit reached 143.1 billion won, surging 92.3 percent during the cited period. Its sales and net profit in the third quarter of 2013 were 572.4 billion won and 74.4 billion won, respectively.

The company said the good performance is largely attributable to robust overseas sales. These came in at 230.8 billion won for the quarter, up 52 percent from a year ago. That accounted for 33 percent of the company’s total quarterly sales.

Its domestic sales, on the other hand, stood at 469.2 billion won, down 2.5 percent from a year earlier.

Naver’s sales from businesses related to its instant mobile messenger service Line came in at 208.5 billion won, up 57.1 percent.

Its sales from the content segment stood at 192.2 billion won, up 62.8 percent thanks to the popularity of game and emoticon content. About 90 percent of the sales in this segment came from overseas markets, the company said.

The company added in a conference call that the number of Line subscribers surpassed 10 million in 12 countries including Japan, Taiwan and Thailand, while the popularity continues to rise in other countries such as Indonesia, Mexico and Colombia.

“More than 560 million users have downloaded Line on the global market and 170 million among them are active users of the service. We will continue to globalize our services in the future,” said Kim Sang-hun, CEO of Naver. ”We plan to expand the Line brand by opening more offline goods stores around the world and adding more functions to the messenger service in the next quarter.”

Naver also said it will launch the call taxi service “Line Taxi” and the mobile payment service “Line Pay” within the year, which it unveiled during the Line Conference Tokyo 2014 in Japan last month.