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Naver Q1 net income soars 1,171.9% on growth of major businesses

By Yonhap

Published : May 3, 2024 - 09:35

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Naver Corp.'s headquarters in Seongnam, just southeast of Seoul (Herald DB) Naver Corp.'s headquarters in Seongnam, just southeast of Seoul (Herald DB)

South Korean tech giant Naver Corp. said Friday its first-quarter net profit soared 1,171.9 percent from a year earlier on the overall growth of its major businesses, including its search platform and e-commerce.

Its net profit reached 555.8 billion won ($404 million) in the January-March period, compared with 43.7 billion won a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The operating profit jumped 32.9 percent on-year to a quarterly high of 439.3 billion won, and sales rose 10.8 percent to 2.52 trillion won, the highest for a first quarter.

The earnings exceeded market expectations. The average estimate of net profit by analysts stood at 291.4 billion won, according to a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.

Naver said its major businesses delivered strong overall performance in the first quarter.

Its flagship search platform division saw its sales increase 6.3 percent on-year to 905.4 billion won, thanks to commercials.

Sales of its commerce division advanced 16.1 percent to 703.4 billion won, driven by the release of a new delivery solution and the growth of its social commerce platform, Kream.

Revenue from its fintech division also climbed 11.2 percent to 353.9 billion won on the expansion of Naver Pay, its mobile payment service.

The content division reported an 8.5 percent increase in sales to 446.3 billion won, as transactions on the global webtoon platform grew 9.1 percent on-year to 458.7 billion won in the first quarter.

In particular, Japanese yen transactions rose 24 percent on the webtoon platform.

The cloud division saw its revenue jump 25.5 percent to 117 billion won as its generative artificial intelligence services, including its hyperscale AI HyperClova X, began to raise profits, according to the Korean company.

"Naver will work to strengthen its competitiveness in a swift manner by providing a differentiated experience based on our core technologies, such as AI, data and search, and creating long-term technological growth," CEO Choi Soo-yeon said.

Regarding the recent issue involving LY Corp., the operator of popular mobile messenger app Line and internet platform Yahoo Japan, Choi said, "Naver's stance has yet to be settled."

LY has reportedly been moving to sell Naver's stake in the company to SoftBank Group after the Japanese government issued an administrative guidance to lower its dependence on the Korean company following a personal data leak incident last year.

LY is controlled by a 50-50 joint venture between Naver and SoftBank.

Shares in Naver had jumped 2.97 percent to 194,400 won as of 11 a.m. on the main Seoul bourse, outperforming the broader Korea Composite Stock Price Index's 0.12 percent increase. The earnings results were released before the stock markets opened. (Yonhap)