SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) — Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea’s top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, said Tuesday it shifted to the black in 2020 on the back of robust growth of its e-commerce services based on its messenger platform amid the pandemic.
Net profit reached 167.1 billion won (US$149.2 million) last year on a consolidated basis, swinging from a loss of 341.9 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Sales jumped by 35.4 percent on-year to reach an all-time high of 4.15 trillion won over the cited period, and its operating income rose 120.5 percent on-year to a record high of 456 billion won, it said.
Kakao said it enjoyed a record high performance in both its platform and e-commerce businesses based on its KakaoTalk, coupled with its global paid content business.
Kakao said messaging through KakaoTalk surged following the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people stayed home and avoided face-to-face contact, leading to increased content usage and online shopping.
Kakao said the revenue from its platform business increased by 48 percent on-year to 657 billion won over the cited quarter thanks to the steady growth of Biz Message and Talk Biz.
Kakao said its platform businesses based on KakaoTalk are expected to show brisk performance down the road. At Talk Biz Board, individual sellers can sell their products through a platform connected to KakaoTalk.
Revenue from Talk Biz soared by 63 percent on-year to 360.3 billion won during the fourth quarter, the company said.
Revenue from the content business also expanded by 33 percent on-year to 578.1 billion won over the cited quarter.
Noticeably, revenue from paid content, such as webtoons, skyrocketed 233 percent on-year to 163.6 billion won during the quarter on the back of popularity in Japan, the company said.
Sales of game content also increased 51 percent on-year to 140.8 billion won during the fourth quarter, it said.