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

<p>Naver Corp.'s headquarters in Seongnam, just southeast of Seoul<em> (Yonhap)</em></p>

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

SEOUL – 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 (USD404 million) in the January-March period, compared with 43.7 billion won (USD32 million) a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The operating profit jumped 32.9 percent on-year to 439.3 billion won (USD 322 million), and sales rose 10.8 percent to 2.52 trillion won (USD1.8 billion).

The earnings exceed market expectations. The average estimate of net profit by analysts stood at 291.4 billion won (USD213 million), 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 (USD 663 million), thanks to commercials.

Sales of its commerce division advanced 16.1 percent to 703.4 billion won (USD 515 million) 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 (USD 259 million) 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 (USD327 million) as transactions on the global webtoon platform grew 9.1 percent on-year to 458.7 billion won (USD 336 million) 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 (USD85 million) 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. (Yonhap)