Asian Gaming Giant Nexon Sees Revenues Climb 39% To $331.4M

Nexon, the freemium gaming company that went public around the time that Zynga did, saw its fourth-quarter revenues jump 39 percent to 30.9 billion Japanese yen ($331.4 million).

It still posted a net loss of 94 million yen ($1 million) because of writedowns in various investments and higher tax expenses in South Korea.

Founded in Seoul almost 20 years ago, Nexon built a strong business in downloadable PC games in China and South Korea with franchises like MapleStory, which have done more than $1 billion in cumulative revenue. The company later moved its headquarters to Tokyo, and raised $1.2 billion in a late 2011 IPO.

While the company’s stock hasn’t done as badly as Zynga’s over the past year, it hasn’t been easy either. Nexon’s shares trade 29 percent lower than they did a year ago, as gaming stocks like GREE and others globally have struggled.

The business’ operating margins declined slightly into this last quarter because the company’s growing line of mobile games have lower profit margins than Nexon’s downloadable game business in China. The company’s shares declined 3.4 percent today to 857 Japanese yen ($9.20).

Nexon expects that its PC business will be roughly flat this quarter at between $305.9 million and $324.4 million in revenue. But mobile games will have grown by more than thirty-fold year-over-year at between $79.4 million and $87.4 million in revenue.

That’s off the back of two key mobile acquisitions over the past year, including the $468.4 million deal to buy top Japanese game developer gloops. gloops is one of the top developers on DeNA’s Mobage platform. Both DeNA and Nexon recently affirmed a gaming partnership that would bring about 10 different Nexon and gloops-produced games to the Mobage platform this year.

Nexon also bought another studio called InBlue in mid-2012, but terms weren’t disclosed.

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