Naver (KRX: 035420) reported solid results for the first quarter of 2023, with consolidated revenues of KRW 2.804 trillion ($2.12 billion), up 23.6% year-on-year.
Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) reached KRW 48.81 billion, up 16.2% year-on-year.
The company also unveiled a new shareholder return plan and provided insights into its businesses.
Search platform revenues reached KRW 851.8 billion, a slight increase of 0.2% YoY, but a decline of 7.1% sequentially.
Search advertising grew 5.3% YoY, outperforming the global search market.
However, display advertising declined 13.1% YoY due to the Olympic Games' base effect and the previous year's presidential election.
Naver's commerce segment grew 45.5% YoY, with revenues of KRW 605.9 billion ($458.5 million).
The inclusion of Poshmark contributed to this growth.
The company's total gross merchandise value (GMV) increased 19.7% YoY to KRW 11.6 trillion ($8.77 billion) in the first quarter, outpacing the market growth of 13.2% YoY.
In addition, Poshmark's profitability efforts resulted in EBITDA becoming positive ahead of its 2024 target.
Fintech revenue grew 15.8% YoY to KRW 318.2 billion ($240.6 million), with NaverPay payments reaching KRW 13.4 trillion ($10.14 billion), up 19.2% YoY.
External and offline payments contributed significantly to this growth, with KRW 5.4 trillion ($4.08 billion) and KRW 810 billion ($612.6 million), respectively.
Content revenues reached KRW 411.3 billion, a substantial growth of 94.0% YoY, driven by Webtoon's global GMV growth of 28.9% YoY to KRW 412.2 billion ($311.9 million). The B2B cloud segment grew 6.6% YoY.
Naver CEO Sooyeon Choi emphasized the company's focus on improving user experience by applying Hyper Clova X across its services.
The AI technology will also be rolled out to productivity tools such as LineWorks in Japan later this year.
As part of its new three-year shareholder return plan, Naver will pay an all-cash dividend of 15-30% of its trailing two-year average consolidated free cash flow (FCF) over the next three years.
The company also plans to repurchase 3% of its 8% outstanding treasury shares at a 1% per year over the next three years.
US$ 1 = KRW 1,321.99