NHN Q1 net profit up 15.6 percent on strong ads, messaging biz

South Korean Internet portal operator's net profit rises to US$145 million, which it attributes to rising revenue from advertising and messaging services.

NHN Corporation's net profit rose 15.6 percent to US$145 million in the January to March period.

NHN Corporation's said its first quarter net profit jumped 15.6 percent from a year earlier, due to increased revenue from advertising and messaging services.

According to its first quarter 2013 earnings released Thursday, NHN's net profit reached 157 billion won (US$145 million) in the January to March 2013 period, compared with a profit of 136 billion won (US$125 million) the year before.

Revenue also rose 17.6 percent year-on-year to 673 billion won (US$619 million) in the first quarter, and operating profit gained 10.5 percent to 191 billion won (US$176 million) in the period.

The operator of South Korea's top portal Naver.com and chat platform LINE attributed the bottomline growth to its search advertising business and messenger services.

Revenue from its search advertisements made up 49 percent of its total sales, reaching 328 billion won (US$300 million) in the first quarter, an increase of 11 percent froma year earlier. Sales from display advertisements rose 2.4 percent on-year ot reach 79 billion won (US$143 million), with those from its online game business rising 5 percent to 156 billion won (US$143 million) over the same period.

The company said other IT services, such as LINE, rose in the first quarter earnings, with a 204.8 percent year-on-year growth to 110.5 billion won (US$101 million). LINE also contributed to 62 percent of sales compared to other NHN's IT services. 

Earlier in May, NHN announced LINE crossed the 150 million subscribers milestone with the increase in subscribers from Middle East and Asia. In its recent expansion to Singapore last month, Simeon Cho, general manager of LINE business office told ZDNet Asia it was targeting 3 million downloads among the local population by positioning itself as a "lifestyle" app and differentiating from "utility" ones such as WhatsApp. 


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