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(3rd LD) Naver Q1 net up 22.7 pct

All News 15:20 April 28, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES closing share price)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- Naver Corp., South Korea's top Internet portal operator, said Thursday its first-quarter net income moved up 22.7 percent from a year earlier on the back of its robust overseas business.

Net profit came to 165 billion won (US$143 million) in the January-March period, compared with the 134.5 billion won a year earlier, Naver said in a regulatory filing.

Sales gained 26.6 percent on-year to 937 billion won over the period, and operating profit climbed 32.1 percent to 256 billion won.

The first-quarter operating profit was above the median estimate of 215 billion won in a poll of local brokerage houses conducted by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency. The consensus sales estimate was 884 billion won.

Naver said its overseas business continued to grow in the first quarter, accounting for 36 percent of its sales.

In terms of sales, advertisements accounted for 72 percent, followed by the content business with 25 percent. The mobile platform accounted for 60 percent of its profits in the first quarter, it added.

By sector, Naver said sales from the advertisement sector advanced 27 percent on-year to 672.7 billion won, helped by improved demand from mobile platforms. About 18 percent of the sales from advertisements came from overseas, on the back of the company's efforts to diversify its portfolio.

Content sales advanced 23.1 percent on-year in the January-March period to 237.4 billion won, with the mobile platform taking up 91 percent of the total.

Naver added that the company managed to beef up growth on the back of improved performances of overseas businesses.

"We achieved growth in sales thanks to an increase in overseas revenue and expanstion of mobile use," Kim Sang-hun, head of the firm. "We will continue to focus on promoting users' convenience and developing core technology in line with changing user demand."

Shares of Naver closed 0.9 percent lower at 659,000 won on the main bourse Thursday, when the KOSPI shed 0.72 percent. The latest report of its earnings was issued before the opening of the stock market.

colin@yna.co.kr
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