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Kakao sales hit quarterly record led by ad revenue

Nov 08,2019
Kakao posted record quarterly sales in the third quarter as more advertising was booked.

It plans to further boost sales from advertisements.

The company, best known for the KakaoTalk instant messenger, reported on Thursday 783.2 billion won ($690 million) in sales in the third quarter and 59.1 billion won in operating profit.

Its sales jumped 31 percent on-year, while the operating profit increased 93 percent on-year.

Kakao said sales from its platform business increased 39 percent on-year to 350.7 billion won, while sales in its Talk Board business, which includes advertisements on KakaoTalk, rose 52 percent on-year to 162.4 billion won.

Sales in its new businesses, like Kakao Pay and Kakao Mobility, totaled 62.3 billion won, a 105 percent jump compared to the same quarter last year.

The growth in the number of businesses accepting Kakao Pay and increased sales at its chauffeur service drove the overall sales of Kakao’s new businesses, the company said.

Sales at its content division were up 25 percent on-year sales to 432.4 billion won.

The paid content business grew with the successes of Kakao Page. Sales of game content barely budged from last year’s third quarter, coming in at 99 billion won.

Kakao says it plans to strengthen the platform business centering on KakaoTalk, expanding the number of advertisers that can post advertisements on the instant messaging platform and offering services that could differentiate Kakao from other firms in the long term.

The company plans to appeal to foreign users, with the efforts centered on content from Kakao Page and Daum Webtoon. Kakao’s paid content is currently available in Japan and Indonesia.

The company projects total global transaction from paid content services, including those in Korea, will rise 48 percent this year to 430 billion won. Kakao said its plan next year is to distribute Korean content in Southeast Asian countries.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]