Kakao posts record revenue in Q2 on upbeat ad, content sales

By Sohn Ji-young
  • Published : Aug 10, 2017 - 14:40
  • Updated : Aug 10, 2017 - 14:41
South Korean mobile messaging giant Kakao said Thursday that it recorded its highest quarterly revenue to date in the second quarter, led by a hike in its advertising and content sales.

Kakao saw revenue of 468.4 billion won ($410.6 million) during the April-June period, marking a 24 percent jump on-year. During the same period, operating profit soared 68 percent on-year to 44.6 billion won. 

However, net profit came in at 12.5 billion won, down 6 percent on-year, due to increased operating expenditure and tax payment costs.

The company’s second-quarter revenue growth was driven by sales from Kakao’s online and mobile advertisement platforms and content-related sales, including those from its music streaming service Melon.

Boosted by mobile ads, Kakao’s ad platform sales reached 151.4 billion won during the quarter, up 11 percent on-year. Content platform sales rose 24 percent on-year to 236.3 billion won.

Its game publishing business revenue reached 78.7 billion won, around the same as that of last year. Sales from miscellaneous content including Kakao Page and KakaoTalk emoticons rose 88 percent on-year to 40.5 billion won.

Looking ahead, Kakao plans to focus on expanding the use of its artificial intelligence platform Kakao i, equipped with natural language-recognition, processing technologies and self-learning algorithms based on machine learning.

“We will undoubtedly deploy our AI system in our own services as well as offer it for use by many outside partners,” Kakao CEO Lim Ji-hoon said during a conference call Thursday.

“It may be difficult for our partner companies to develop AI capabilities on their own. And by offering our AI system, we want to help our partners focus on their own fields,” Lim said.

Kakao has already deployed its AI system in Hyundai’s luxury sedan Genesis G70, with plans to supply its technology to more partners. It is slated to introduce its AI-powered smart speaker Kakao Mini by the third quarter as well.

By Sohn Ji-young (