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Naver Hits Record High EBITDA in Q4 2023, Search & Commerce Lead Growth, Webtoons Turn Profitable

2024-02-02 2 min read

Naver Hits Record High EBITDA in Q4 2023, Search & Commerce Lead Growth, Webtoons Turn Profitable

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Naver announced that in the fourth quarter of 2023, it recorded sales of KRW 2.537 trillion (approximately USD 2.13 billion). The operating profit was KRW 405.5 billion (USD 341 million), and the adjusted EBITDA amounted to KRW 580 billion (USD 487 million).

The fourth-quarter consolidated sales saw an 11.7% YoY and 3.8% QoQ increase, reaching a total of KRW 2.537 trillion (USD 2.13 billion), driven by growth in key business sectors. The adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter reached a historic high of KRW 580 billion (USD 487 million), increasing by 19.2% YoY and 5.3% QoQ, particularly due to the profitability turnaround in webtoons and the profit expansion of Poshmark. The consolidated operating profit for the fourth quarter recorded KRW 405.5 billion (USD 341 million), showing a growth of 20.5% YoY and 6.7% QoQ, with an operating profit margin of 16%, which increased compared to the previous quarter.

As a result, the annual sales for 2023 reached KRW 9.6706 trillion (USD 8.13 billion), marking a 17.6% increase compared to the previous year. The annual operating profit increased by 14.1% YoY, reaching KRW 1.4888 trillion (USD 1.25 billion), and the annual adjusted EBITDA increased by 18.4% YoY, reaching KRW 2.1338 trillion (USD 1.79 billion).

The fourth-quarter sales by business segment were as follows:

The Search Platform recorded sales of KRW 928 billion (USD 780 million), with steady growth in search advertising, increasing by 1.3% YoY and 3.3% QoQ. Naver plans to expand the testing of the Cue: AI search service to mobile devices after applying it to PC integrated search at the end of November.

Commerce recorded sales of KRW 660 billion (USD 555 million), with a 35.7% YoY increase and a 2.0% QoQ increase, attributed to the effects of Poshmark’s inclusion, commission rate increases in Kream, and the monetization of the Brand Solution Package and Arrival Guarantee services. The overall transaction volume for the fourth quarter increased by 11.0% YoY and 3.7% QoQ, reaching KRW 12.4 trillion (USD 10.43 billion).

Fintech recorded sales of KRW 356 billion (USD 299 million), with an 11.3% YoY and 4.5% QoQ increase. The fourth-quarter payment amount increased by 23.9% YoY and 7.0% QoQ, reaching KRW 16.3 trillion (USD 13.69 billion).

Contents recorded sales of KRW 466 billion (USD 391 million), with a 6.6% YoY and 7.2% QoQ increase, driven by the growth in webtoon content and IP revenue, as well as the expansion of revenue from Snow AI products. Global webtoon integrated transaction volume grew by 9.3% YoY, reaching KRW 444 billion (USD 373 million), and efforts for profitability improvement resulted in positive EBITDA for the fourth quarter and the full year.

Clouds recorded sales of KRW 125.9 billion (USD 106 million), with a 13.3% YoY and 1.8% QoQ increase.

Naver CEO Choi Soo-yeon stated, “In 2023, despite challenging domestic and international conditions, we achieved a robust sales growth rate and focused on enhancing profitability through careful cost management.” She added, “In the coming year, Naver will continue to concentrate on strengthening the competitiveness of core businesses such as search and commerce, based on AI and data.”

[Startup News in Korea]

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