[Photo by NHN Corp.]
South Korea’s leading game and online service provider NHN Corp. recorded a 7.1 percent on-year increase in fourth-quarter profit and ended 2019 in best-ever performance as mobile payment and other non-game services paid off.
The company in a regulatory filing on Monday said its consolidated operating profit totaled 17.7 billion won ($14.9 million) in the October-December 2019 period. The result is down 19.4 percent against the third quarter but up 7.1 percent from a year earlier. Revenue came at 400.6 billion won, up 13.9 percent on quarter and 8.8 percent on year.
For full 2019, operating profit jumped 26.7 percent against the previous year to a record high of 86.9 billion won. Annual revenue gained 17.8 percent on year to 1.5 trillion won, also a record high. It is the second year in a row for the company to rake over 1 trillion won in revenue.
On Tuesday, NHN stock closed 0.27 percent lower at 75,000 won in Seoul.
The company performed well across the board, especially in non-game online services, the company said.
Digital payment and advertisement business raked in 140.5 billion won in revenue in the fourth quarter, up 14.7 percent from previous quarter and 2.8 percent from a year earlier. Transactions at its mobile payment platform Payco in the quarter soared 30 percent on year while annual transactions in 2019 also surged 30 percent on year to 6 trillion won. NHN KCP, its online payment business unit, also saw growth in transactions, both online and overseas.
E-commerce business reported revenue of 71.7 billion won in the final quarter, up 37.3 percent on quarter and 33.1 percent on year, led by e-commerce platform Accommate that enjoyed a sharp hike in sales from Single’s Day, China’s biggest shopping event.
[Photo by NHN Corp.]
Revenue from technology service business rose 32.0 percent on quarter and 32.7 percent on year to 42.1 billion won, thanks to a solid growth in revenue from payment gateway service unit PNP Secure and cloud services Toast and NHN Techorus.
Contents business raked in 44.8 billion won in revenue, up 0.5 percent quarter but down 0.3 percent on year. Revenue from its webtoon portal Comico grew on increased traffic but the gain was offset by slower e-ticket sales at NHN Ticket Link due to seasonality fluctuations.
Mainstay online game business saw its revenue gain 1.5 percent on quarter but fall 13.4 percent on year to 100.3 billion won in the fourth quarter. The on-year fall was largely due to diminishing sales of Line Disney Tsum Tsum and the absence of new hit games. To bolster its game business, the company is preparing to introduce new titles targeting the Asian market this year. It is expected to make a rebound in the first quarter on the growth of mobile board games.
Revenue from travel agency Tourbaksa and others came at 6.4 billion won, down 25.5 percent on quarter and 22.0 percent on year, largely due to a fall in tour sales amid the travel industry slowdown.
By Lee Yong-ik and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]