Earnings of South Korean game giants -- Nexon Korea Co. and NCsoft Corp. -- took a breather in the second half of this year following stellar performances in the previous quarter, but Netmarble Games Corp. pulled off a turnaround, industry sources said Tuesday.
South Korea's top game publisher, Nexon Korea, is estimated to have posted an operating income in the 100-billion-won (US$90 million) range during April-June period with its sales reaching the upper end of the 400-billion-won band.
The figures are similar to those recorded during the same period last year. The company chalked up an operating income of 165.3 billion won on sales of 477.8 billion won a year earlier.
But the numbers are far lower than the previous quarter. In the fourth quarter of last year, Nexon Korea registered a record quarterly operating profit of 541.3 billion won with its top line grazing a new high of 895.3 billion won.
A company official attributed the on-quarter drop to a seasonal factor. "Nexon Korea posts the largest sales in the first quarter of every year due to special demand for its game title 'Dungeon & Fighter' during the Lunar New Year holiday in China," he said.
Rival NCSOFT Corp. is expected to see its second-quarter performance improve sharply from a year earlier, but fare worse than three months earlier.
Analysts forecast NCSOFT's second-quarter operating profit to surge 300 percent on-year to nearly 100 billion won, with sales spiking 70 percent to about 400 billion won. In the previous quarter, NCsoft recorded an operating income of 203.9 billion won on sales of 475.2 billion won.
Market watchers said the tumble in its second-quarter operating profit resulted from weaker daily average revenue of its mobile megahit game "Lineage M," which fell 14 percent on-quarter.
South Korea's top mobile game developer Netmarble Games Corp. is forecast to have posted a turnaround in the second quarter of the year after a poor showing three months earlier.
Netmarble's second-quarter operating income is estimated at 90 billion won on sales of 570 billion won, compared with 74.2 billion won and 507.4 billion won, respectively, in the first quarter. During the same period a year ago, the company posted an operating income of 105.1 billion won on sales of 540.1 billion won.
Industry watchers attributed Netmarble's second-quarter turnaround to the popularity of a new game title and other games.
"Netmarble's performance is expected to turn for the better in the second half of this year thanks to the rollout of two new game titles," said Lee Joon-gyu, an analyst at Bookook Securities Co. (yonhap)