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Gree posts Q2 sales of £342.7m, profits of £104.9m

Japanese social network bumps up full year sales predictions to £1.4bn

Japanese social network Gree has posted impressive figures for its Q2, FY2012, registering a profit of ¥12.74 billion (£104.9m) and sales of ¥41.5 billion (£342.7m).

As a result of the better than expected performance, Gree has raised its projections for the full year's figures upping its prediction to a profit of ¥44-50 billion (£363.4 - £413 m) and sales of ¥160-170 billion (£1.32 - £1.4 bn).

Year on year, those numbers mark a profit growth of 206 per cent.

At the end of the last financial year, Gree declared sales of ¥64 billion and a profit of just over ¥18 billion, an increase on the previous estimate of around a third.

The year has seen massive growth for the company, which started as a one-man outfit run by founder Yoshikazu Tanaka in 2004. The user base grew to 10,000 in just one month and has risen to 190 million currently, only 14.8 per cent of which are Japanese residents.

Gree operates its own mobile gaming platform in its home territory, but also runs the Open Feint network, which nets it millions of users from Europe and the US. In fact, Tanaka attributes his company philosophy to the observation of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in the '90s, an approach which he says attempts to use the power of the internet to create a better world.

"In the 1990s, when I was in middle school and high school, a significant period of growth had ended in Japan and the country was between treading water and sinking," Tanaka writes in a statement accompanying the financial report. . "Another world away in Silicon Valley, U.S.A., scores of young people entranced by the great potential of the Internet were gleefully going about trying to create new businesses.

"They talked passionately of creating a society in which everyone used the Internet, of changing how we communicate and disseminate information just as the invention of the printing press and telephone did, of creating a turning point in human history and changing society and the world, of working because of people's real need for their products. I had always thought of work as an obligation that isn't fun, that the business world was completely greedy and that corporations were bad. But these young people in Silicon Valley had shockingly different values and an entirely different take on things. I was completely taken with the values and philosophy of Silicon Valley.

"The idea was you yourself could create society's future by building new businesses, and to do this you had to be willing to work hard and take on a mountain of challenges. I remember having an overwhelming desire to live my life like these young entrepreneurs."

Should the company reach its predicted targets for the full year, it would be approaching the expected earnings of established social and gaming giants such as Facebook.

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