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(3rd LD) Naver Q1 net plummets 99 pct on-year on base effect

All News 16:05 April 21, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with share price in last para)
By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) -- Naver Corp., South Korea's top internet portal operator, said Thursday its net profit plummeted 99 percent on-year in the first quarter due to a low base effect.

Net profit reached 151.4 billion won (US$122.5 million) during the January-March period, compared with 15.31 trillion won in the previous year, the company said in a regulatory filing.

This undated photo provided by Naver Corp. shows the company's headquarters. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This undated photo provided by Naver Corp. shows the company's headquarters. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The record high net profits for last year's first quarter was due to accounting profits reflected from the business integration of its messaging firm Line Corp. in Japan with Yahoo Japan.

Operating income reached 301.8 billion won for the cited period, up 4.5 percent from a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing. Revenue rose 23.1 percent on-year to 1.84 trillion won.

Revenue from Naver's commerce business in the first quarter increased 28.3 percent on-year to 416.1 billion won thanks to the steady growth of small online sellers.

Naver attributed the growth to its new shopping services, such as Brand Store and Shopping Live. The transaction amount skyrocketed 78 percent on-year in the cited period.

The company's flagship search platform, which covers its ads business, also grew, with its sales rising 12 percent on-year to 843.2 billion won.

Revenues from the search platform, however, inched down 4.9 percent from a quarter earlier due to increased costs.

"Naver aims to focus on increasing revenue for 2022 by carefully managing personnel expenses and marketing costs," CEO Choi Soo-yeon said during a conference call.

Earlier, the tech giant said it aims to reach annual revenue of 15 trillion won in the next five years.

Content sales skyrocketed 65.9 percent to 217 billion won over the same period due to increased global demand for its webtoons. Revenue from its webtoon business jumped 79.5 percent from a year earlier.

Sales from the fintech sector also expanded 31.1 percent on-year to 274.8 billion won on the back of cooperation with gaming giant Nexon Co.

Revenue from its cloud business expanded 15.3 percent on-year to 84.2 billion won as demand grew amid the remote working trend due to the pandemic

Shares in Naver fell 1.9 percent to 309,500 won on the Seoul bourse, underperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.35 percent gain. The earnings were announced before the local stock market opened.


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