Naver Q2 net rises on robust ad, messenger businesses

SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) -- Naver Corp., South Korea's top Internet portal operator, said Thursday its second-quarter profit jumped 7.5 percent from a year earlier, buoyed by increased revenue from ad and messenger services.

Net profit reached 123 billion won (US$110 million) in the April-June period, compared with 114 billion won the previous year, Naver, formerly known as NHN, said in a regulatory filing.

Revenue rose 26.3 percent on-year to 723 billion won in the second quarter, and operating profit gained 19.6 percent to 194 billion won in the cited period.

Naver attributed the stronger bottom line to growing profit from its search advertising business and its messenger service LINE.

Revenue from its search advertisements accounted for 46 percent of its total sales to reach 329 billion won in the second quarter, up 10 percent from a year earlier.

Sales from display ads, however, fell 4.7 percent on-year to reach 86 billion won, with those from its online game business rising 8.3 percent to 152 billion won over the cited period, it said.

The company also said other IT services, such as its flagship messenger service LINE, shored up its second-quarter earnings, with revenue from the services standing at 112 billion won in the second quarter.

"Overseas sales, backed by the LINE messenger service, posted a strong growth in the second quarter," the company said. "We will continue to rack up better results from mobile and global businesses as well in the future."

The free mobile messenger application broke the 200-million download mark worldwide last month, only four months after the service drew 150 million global users in April and seven months after attracting 100 million in January this year.

Given the pace of growth, analysts expect that it won't take long before LINE sets another milestone of 300 million users very soon, possibly by the end of 2014.

The free messenger service was launched in June 2011.

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