Krafton Inc. has managed to reap record revenues in 2021 despite a disappointing response to its new label, and is committed to restoring the stock price through aggressive mergers and acquisitions in new deep learning businesses , metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT).
The Korean game developer and publisher behind the globally smash-hit battle royale game “PUBG: Battlegrounds” said on Thursday its revenue hit a record high of 1.9 trillion won ($1.6 billion) for the financial year ended December 31, 2021. The figure is up 12.9% compared to the previous year.
Operating profit, however, fell 17.3% to 639.6 billion won with an operating margin of 34%, largely due to increased marketing spending and one-time incentives. Free shares worth 60.9 billion won were distributed to employees, which were recorded as expenses in his account. Excluding that, its operating profit topped 700 billion won for the second straight year, the company said.
From October to December, Krafton earned operating profit of 43.0 billion won, down 78.0% quarter on quarter and 53.6% year on year. Sales amounted to 444.0 billion won, down 14.9% quarter on quarter but up 25.9% year on year.
On Friday, Krafton shares are trading down 13% to 259,000 won in the morning session.
Krafton generated 94% of its revenue in 2021 from overseas markets.
Its main game title “PUBG: Battlegrounds” continued its robust growth, with its mobile version generating sales of 303.7 billion won in the fourth quarter and 1.4 trillion won in 2021 to set a new record. The company said the mobile game has strengthened its presence in India with a loyal user base.
Krafton CEO Kim Chang-han said the company is preparing to use the new content development program “The Potential” and actively seek growth opportunities in new business areas, such as deep learning, Web 3.0, NFT and virtual reality. As for deep learning, the company is currently developing an AI-based user-generated content platform with the aim of starting commercial service by the end of this year, Kim said. .
Krafton recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Zepeto, a metaverse platform operator from Korean internet giant Naver Corp. to collaborate on Web 3.0 and NFT activities.
Additionally, Krafton announced on Thursday that it will acquire 663,848 shares of local video game publisher 5minlab for 53.8 billion won. Following the acquisition of the stake, Krafton will become the full owner of 5minlab. The acquisition of the shares will take place on February 18.
5minlab is a developer of virtual reality and casual games, such as arcade and puzzle. Its bestseller is the multiplayer fighting game Smash Legends.
By Hwang Soon-min and Cho Jeehyun
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