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(LEAD) Hybe tops 1 tln won in annual sales, first in K-pop industry

All News 18:47 February 22, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES headline and first 10 paras with more info; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Yonhap) -- Hybe has become the first K-pop management agency to surpass 1 trillion won (US$838 million) in annual sales, boosted by successes of its artists led by global superstars BTS.

The company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday its sales for 2021 were tentatively tallied at 1.25 trillion won, up 58 percent from the previous year. Its operating profit rose 30.8 percent on-year to 190.3 billion won with a net profit estimated at 141 billion won, up 62 percent.

It marks the first time Hybe has exceeded 1 trillion won in annual sales, and Hybe also became the first K-pop agency to hit the milestone.

This photo captured from the homepage of Hybe, the K-pop powerhouse behind BTS, shows the company logo. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The company's album sales rose 18 percent from the previous year to 378.5 billion won.

BTS was the leading factor behind Hybe's solid performance, as the album for the group's megahit single "Butter" sold 7.4 million copies. The song stayed on the Billboard's Hot 100 main singles chart for 10 non-consecutive weeks.

Albums by other South Korean boy groups under Hybe -- Seventeen, Tomorrow X Together and Enhypen -- also sold 3.7 million, 1.8 million and 2.2 million copies, respectively.

In addition, albums by Ariana Grande managed by Ithaca Holdings, which Hybe acquired last year, sold 2.4 million copies, and those by Justin Bieber sold 2.35 million copies.

Hybe's sales from live performances surged 980.5 percent year-on-year to 49.7 billion won last year, and 45.3 billion won of them came in the fourth quarter.

Analysts attribute the surge to the big success achieved by BTS' live concerts in Los Angeles, which drew more than 210,000 fans between late November to early December.

"The concerts generated 40 billion won in sales from offline events only," the company said. "When sales from YouTube Theater and online streaming are included, (Hybe) recorded its biggest-ever sales."

A file photo of BTS, provided by Big Hit Music (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The company also reported fourth-quarter net income of 53.8 billion won, up 106.1 percent from a year earlier.

It posted 73.9 billion won in operating profit for the quarter, compared with 54 billion won a year ago. Revenue rose 48 percent to 459.8 billion won.

The operating profit was 3.6 percent higher than the average estimate, according to the survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency. The estimate of net profit was not available.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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