HYBE, the management company behind Korean pop sensation BTS, reported a 21% increase in net profit in the three months to June 2021 and said its artists had returned to “full-fledged” activities after the coronavirus break.
Formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, the company saw a 56% increase in year-on-year sales to KRW 279 billion ($244 million). Operating profit increased by 23%, while net profit after tax reached KRW 17.2 billion ($15.1 million) during the three-month period. It revealed costs of KRW 10 billion ($8.76 million) incurred in April in connection with the acquisition of US talent firm Ithaca Holdings, which features Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber among its flagship titles.
Album sales rose 96% to KRW 107 billion ($93.7 million) thanks to new releases from BTS, Tomorrow X Together and Seventeen. Content sales jumped 146% to KRW 91.3 billion ($79.9 million) due to the success of BTS’ online fan meeting in June, HYBE reported. Revenue from advertisements, artist appearance fees and management increased 77% quarter-on-quarter to KRW 21.6 billion ($19.2 million).
Online fan platform Weverse grew its monthly active user (MAU) base by 9% to 5.3 million users. They also spent more through the platform. The average monthly payment per buyer user increases by more than 50%. HYBE did not disclose whether Weverse is currently profitable.
In a conference call after the earnings announcement, management returned to the theme of international expansion, saying it would bolster staff at its main hubs in Korea, the United States and Japan.
“Given the deferred product sales from the second quarter and the active promotions of our key artists, we expect a significant increase in sales and operating profits in the second half year over year.” He added, “We will continue to explore new business opportunities through competition and collaboration in all aspects of a music-based entertainment lifestyle,” said Jiwon Park, CEO of HYBE. , in a prepared statement.
HYBE launched its shares on the KOSPI stock market in Korea in October last year at 135,000 KRW each. The stock nearly doubled on opening day, lost ground in the following four months before recovering sharply. The shares rose 1% to 298,500 KRW on Thursday.