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Naver Hits Record EBITDA in Q4, Webtoons Turn Profitable

Source: Naver Corp

Seoul, South Korea - Naver (KRX: 035420) announced strong financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2023, driven by solid growth across its core businesses.

Key Highlights

  • Consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter of 2023 was KRW 2.53 trillion, up 11.7% year-on-year and 3.8% sequentially.
  • Operating income grew 20.5% year-on-year and 6.7% sequentially to KRW 405.5 billion. Operating margin reached 16%, up from 12.6% in the third quarter of 2007.
  • Adjusted EBITDA reached an all-time high of KRW 580 billion, up 19.2% year-on-year and 5.3% sequentially.
  • Revenues for the full year reached KRW 9,670.6 billion, up 17.6% year-on-year.
  • Operating income for the full year increased 14.1% year-on-year to KRW 1.48 trillion, and adjusted EBITDA for the full year increased 18.4% year-on-year to KRW 2.13 trillion.

Growth Drivers

  • E-commerce: Revenue increased 35.7% year-on-year to KRW 660.5 billion, driven by the inclusion of Poshmark, growth in Smart Store transaction value, and the start of monetization of new services.
  • Fintech: Revenue grew 11.3% year-on-year to KRW 356 billion, with payment volume growing 23.9% year-on-year.
  • Content: Revenue grew 6.6% year-on-year to KRW 466.3 billion, driven by webtoon content and IP revenue and expanded sales of Snow AI products. Notably, webtoon EBITDA turned positive in Q4 and for the full year.

What they say:

"In 2023, despite the challenging environment, we achieved solid revenue growth and strived to strengthen profitability through prudent cost execution," said Choi Soo-yeon, CEO of Naver

"This year, we will continue to focus on strengthening the competitiveness of our core businesses, such as search and commerce based on AI and data."

What's more:

Naver applied its generative AI search service Cue: to PC-integrated search in late November and plans to expand the test to mobile later this year.

In 2024, Naver expects AI and data analytics to continue to drive growth across its business portfolio. 

The company plans to expand the application of its generative AI technologies while increasing monetization opportunities.