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(LEAD) Software maker Hancom eyes 100 bln won in sales in 2016

All News 18:10 July 18, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS more details throughout)
By Kim Han-joo

JEJU, July 18 (Yonhap) -- Hancom Inc., a South Korean software maker, has said it is targeting annual sales of 100 billion won (US$88.1 million) in 2016 by reforming itself and moving more aggressively into new emerging markets.

The homegrown software firm said it has logged a surplus in sales for 53 quarters in a row and posted 84.9 billion won in sales last year.

"I want to say with confidence that Hancom will achieve the goal of 100 billion won in sales by the end of the year and generate profits worth 15 percent of the total from overseas markets," said CEO Lee Won-pil during a press conference on the southern resort island of Jeju on Friday.

Hancom, well-known among South Koreans with its mainstay word processing computer software based on the Korean language, has stood as a competitive and viable rival here to the U.S. giant Microsoft Corp.

"The market share of Hancom Office will be increased from the current 30 percent to 51 percent (in the South Korean market)," said Lee, noting that the company also aims to increase its market share in the global market to up to 5 percent.

Microsoft controls 90.8 percent of the global market in terms of sales, followed by Adobe Systems Inc. with 3.8 percent, Google with 2.6 percent and Hancom with 0.4 percent.

Hancom said it will focus on five new emerging markets -- Russia, China, India, the Middle East and South America -- through enhancing marketing toward local business consumers.

Hancom argues that many of the users in the five markets have asked the company to provide alternatives to Microsoft programs.

The company said it will delve into the new markets by providing specifically what they want.

"Russia is most worried about the security breaches of their data," said Lee, noting that Russian companies have asked for an alternative to the Microsoft products.

Hancom's latest Neo, rolled out earlier this year, is highly compatible with Microsoft Word files and comes with an automatic document translation feature as well.

Hancom said it is currently testing Neo, with several Russian universities, to exclusively replace it with Microsoft programs.

Besides its office software, Hancom has expanded its business into other platforms, including Wepubl -- an e-book publishing platform that allows users to convert PDF files into e-book files or create their own e-books.

"Two thirds of companies that we have surveyed want to shed away from Microsoft," said Lee.

Hancom said it plans to launch the Wepubl business with a Chinese firm later this week, without giving further details.

"Our another goal is to eventually debut in London," said Chairman Kim Sang-cheol, giving an example of Line Corp., a Japan-based global chat app operator, which successfully debuted in Tokyo and New York last week.


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