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NHN posts solid figures in Q1

NHN Corp., an Internet content service operator, announced Thursday it recorded 517.3 billion won ($4.76 million) in operating revenue and 168.5 billion won in operating profit for the first quarter, both figures profiting from an increase in search advertisements.

The company, well-known for its search engine Naver and online game site Hangame, said its operating revenue and operating profit surged 14.3 percent and 13.7 percent from the same period last year in its quarterly earnings report. Of operating revenue, overall sales were set at 514.3 billion won, according to company officials.

Search ads took more than 49 percent of overall sales, followed by games with 33 percent, display and banner ads with 13 percent and other projects with 5 percent, they said.

Search ads alone brought in 250.26 billion won in sales between January-March, a rise of almost 24 percent compared to the first quarter of last year, its officials said.

Display ads raised 66.78 billion won, recording an 18.3 percent increase compared to the same period.

The rise in revenue of search ads took place after NHN introduced its own NHN Business Platform in January, officials said.

“We expect the company’s overall sales in search ads to go up over 25 percent in the second quarter as well,” said Hwang In-jun, NHN’s chief financial officer.

He also said he expects NHN’s online game projects to achieve a growth rate of 10 to 15 percent in 2011.

Hangame’s role-playing game Tera was a hit in Korea and some newly-published games in Japan contributed to the boost of sales in the first three months. Sales of publishing online games totaled up to 167.7 billion won, jumping up to 34 percent compared to the last quarter, its officials said.

NHN appeared on the Forbes Global 2000 list for the first time in 2008. The company’s chief executive Kim Sang-hun was also one of the two Koreans listed on Asia’s Fab 50 a year later in 2009.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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