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Nexon celebrates record year for revenue and income

2018 full-year financials show highest full-year PC and mobile results so far

Nexon has released its Q4 2018 and full-year 2018 financials, reporting record-high revenue, operating income, and net income.

For the full year, Nexon reports revenue of ¥253.7 billion ($2.3 billion), up 8% year-over-year, and operating income of ¥98.4 billion ($890 million), up 9% year-over-year. Net income was ¥107.7 billion ($975 million), up 90% year-over-year.

The company saw growth in its main IPs, with China's Dungeon&Fighter seeing its third consecutive year of double digit year-over-year revenue growth. MapleStory in Korea grew 67% year-over-year, and MapleStory M was up 81% year-over-year in Korea alone.

While the full-year results for Nexon were certainly positive, its Q4 taken alone was less impressive. The company reported revenue of ¥46.1 billion ($417 million), down 13% year-over-year, though Nexon says this was within range of its quarterly outlook. Operating income was ¥3.9 billion ($35 million) and net income was ¥6.5 billion ($59 million), both of which were below the company's quarterly outlook.

Nexon puts at least some of the blame for the lower-than-expected quarterly numbers on NAT Games, which it acquired in May of last year. The company reports that if adjusted for impairment loss, its operating income and net income for the quarter would have been ¥6.9 billion ($62 million) and ¥9.5 billion ($86 million) respectively.

By platform, while PC revenues were within expectations, mobile revenues were below the outlook due to lower-than-anticipated revenue from new mobile games in Japan and Korea.

Looking ahead to 2019, Nexon expects Q1 revenues between ¥79.7 to ¥87.4 billion ($721 million to $791 million), down 12% to 3% year-over-year, operating income of ¥40.7 to ¥47.4 billion ($368 million to $429 million), and net income of ¥37.9 to ¥43.7 billion ($343 million to $395 million). Nexon says it is preparing multiple mobile games for release in 2019 across various regions including China, Japan, Korea, North America, and Europe.

"Building on our success in the Chinese and Korean markets, in 2018 Nexon's global PC and mobile businesses grew year-over-year," said president and CEO Owen Mahoney. "We also saw strong growth on mobile in the West from Pixelberry Studios' key title Choices: Stories You Play, as well as around the world from MapleStory M, and the new action RPG, Darkness Rises. We also continued to show the strength of our flagship franchises including MapleStory, as well as Dungeon&Fighter which achieved another year of double-digit growth in its 10th year of operation in China.

"Looking ahead, Nexon will continue to leverage returns from our powerful franchise annuities to invest in new content with additional focus on our wholly-owned IP and leverage major technological advancements that fundamentally change how games are made and played. As millions of gamers gain access to powerful new platforms, Nexon's creative teams are pioneering disruptive breakthroughs in AI, immersive mobile technology and online virtual worlds."

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