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Technology Services

Kakao Corp.

Company Background

Kakao is a leading South Korean information technology company created in October 2014 by a merger between Daum Communications, the operator of the Daum search engine, and Kakao, the provider of the KakaoTalk chat app. It has been adding new services, such as mobile payments, to attract more users in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

Kakao's search engine market share in South Korea has been hovering at some 20%, lagging behind Naver, another Seoul-based company. But KakaoTalk has more than 37 million monthly active users, meaning that over 70% of South Koreans use the instant messaging service -- an outstanding market presence.

Kakao has been adding services, including online shopping, taxi hailing and music streaming, to add more value to KakaoTalk. Currently, advertising and games generate most of its revenue, but earnings from digital content and e-commerce operations are rising.

Kakao is behind WhatsApp, from U.S.-based Facebook; WeChat, from China-based Tencent Holdings; and Line, from Naver; as far as number of users and global scale go. But it is trying to gain Southeast Asian users and recently acquired Path, a U.S.-based social network that has gained a degree of popularity in Indonesia.

Business Summary

Kakao Corp. is engaged in developing portals and other internet information service parameters. The company operates through the following business divisions: Advertising Platform and Contents Platform. Its services include communication, media, content, games, lifestyle, fintech, and search. The company was founded on February 16, 1995 and is headquartered in Jeju-si, South Korea.

Financial Highlights

Dec 2021 KRWUSD
Gross Profit3,296.20B2,878.38M
Operating income592,882.97M517.72M
Income before tax1,783.60B1,557.51M
Net income1,392.15B1,215.68M
Diluted EPS3,145.592.74
Dividends Per Share530.04
Total Assets22,779.55B19,162.61M
Total liabilities9,189.58B7,730.46M
Total equity9,984.37B8,399.05M
Operating cash flow1,306.57B1,140.95M
Currency in KRWCurrency in USD

Historical Data

 Dec 2017Dec 2018Dec 2019Dec 2020Dec 2021
Revenue 1,972.32B 2,416.99B 3,070.11B 4,156.81B 6,136.66B
Gross Profit 1,086.49B 1,265.22B 795,687.41M 2,148.44B 3,296.20B
Operating income 164,498.78M 69,392.30M 207,134.95M 453,879.87M 592,882.97M
Income before tax 153,297.72M 130,669.86M -214,485.68M 405,579.05M 1,783.60B
Net income 108,596.68M 47,885.55M -301,002.84M 155,623.76M 1,392.15B
EBITDA 294,316.87M 204,421.16M 425,905.79M 715,805.68M 956,070.81M
Diluted EPS 310.40 122.80 -755.18 367.62 3,145.59
Dividends Per Share 29.60 25.40 25.40 30 53
Total Assets 6,349.42B 7,959.54B 8,737.25B 11,953.97B 22,779.55B
Total liabilities 1,886.50B 2,332.38B 2,997.13B 4,526.24B 9,189.58B
Total equity 4,029.13B 5,136.85B 5,225.35B 6,298.92B 9,984.37B
Operating cash flow 371,927.05M 491,469.88M 752,667.42M 971,096.47M 1,306.57B
 Dec 2017Dec 2018Dec 2019Dec 2020Dec 2021
Revenue 1,744.63M 2,196.23M 2,632.61M 3,523.06M 5,358.79M
Gross Profit 961.06M 1,149.66M 682.29M 1,820.89M 2,878.38M
Operating income 145.50M 63.05M 177.61M 384.68M 517.72M
Income before tax 135.60M 118.73M -183.92M 343.74M 1,557.51M
Net income 96.05M 43.51M -258.10M 131.89M 1,215.68M
EBITDA 260.33M 185.74M 365.21M 606.67M 834.88M
Diluted EPS 0.27 0.11 -0.64 0.31 2.74
Dividends Per Share 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.04
Total Assets 5,930.99M 7,133.48M 7,555.23M 11,004.29M 19,162.61M
Total liabilities 1,762.18M 2,090.32M 2,591.67M 4,166.65M 7,730.46M
Total equity 3,763.61M 4,603.73M 4,518.44M 5,798.50M 8,399.05M
Operating cash flow 328.99M 446.58M 645.41M 823.04M 1,140.95M

Valuation Measures

Dec 2021
Operating margin9.66%
Profit margin22.68%

Key executives

  • Chief Executive Officer: Eun-Taek Hong
  • Head-Compliance Support: Tae-Sung Jung


  • KIM BEOM-SOO /KAKAO/ (23.7%)
  • National Pension Service of Korea (6.4%)
  • Maximo Pte Ltd. (5.9%)
  • SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (2.4%)
  • Kakao Corp. (1.9%)
  • The Vanguard Group, Inc. (1.7%)
  • BlackRock Fund Advisors (1.5%)
  • BlackRock Advisors LLC (0.8%)
  • Norges Bank Investment Management (0.8%)
  • Mirae Asset Global Investments Co., Ltd. (0.8%)

Contact Details

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Last Updated on 6 Dec, 2022

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