Nexon reports a record-breaking Q1 2019

South Korea’s biggest gaming company, Nexon, has reported a record-breaking start to its financial year, with “revenues, operating income and net income” all exceeding expectations.

In its latest financial report, Nexon confirmed its total revenues for the first three months of the fiscal year was up 3 per cent year-over-year (YoY), coming in at ¥93.07 billion ($840.5m), of which ¥77.6bn ($701m) was generated by PC games, and ¥15.4bn ($139m) by its mobile business.

Net income, too, was up, jumping by 15 per cent to ¥53.4bn ($482m).

“Revenue for the first quarter (January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2019) outperformed the previous outlook primarily as the result of the PC online game revenue exceeding expectations in the high-margin China and Korea regions,” Nexon said in a statement, before expanding on the impact made by fluctuating foreign currency exchange. While 24 per cent of its business is done within Korea, 62 per cent of its market is in China and 4 per cent is in both Japan and North America, which makes these currency changes particularly important. Europe and other markets make up just 6 per cent of Nexon’s business.

The report reports “enormous longevity in the major franchises” and specifically highlights both FIFA Online 4’s success and the “major resurgence” of Crazyracing Kartrider. Revenue for Maple Story grew 69 per cent YoY, too.

That said, despite also exceeding expectations there was an overall dip in operating income, and it fell 4 per cent YoY to ¥52.6bn ($475m), which Nexon attributes to a “¥2.9 billion impairment loss primarily on prepaid royalties”.

Disney has reportedly been offered an opportunity to secure a controlling stake in  Nexon following reports Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju had taken steps to propose a possible acquisition directly to “a high-ranking Disney representative” as the megacorp “has a special place in Kim’s heart”.

“What I envy the most about Disney is that they do not force money out of kids… (consumers) gladly pay Disney. Nexon has a long way to go. Some people hate Nexon to death,” Jung-ju reportedly said in 2015.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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