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Commercial 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 2022 KRWUSD
Gross Profit3,883.33B3,005.44M
Operating income579,873.25M448.78M
Income before tax1,361.99B1,054.09M
Net income1,352.93B1,047.08M
Diluted EPS3,054.752.36
Dividends Per Share600.04
Total Assets22,963.49B18,160.13M
Total liabilities9,431.62B7,458.78M
Total equity9,997.27B7,906.10M
Operating cash flow678,376.49M525.01M
Currency in KRWCurrency in USD

Historical Data

 Dec 2018Dec 2019Dec 2020Dec 2021Dec 2022
Revenue 2,416.99B 3,070.11B 4,156.81B 6,136.66B 7,106.83B
Gross Profit 1,265.22B 795,687.41M 2,148.44B 3,296.20B 3,883.33B
Operating income 69,392.30M 207,134.95M 453,879.87M 592,882.97M 579,873.25M
Income before tax 130,669.86M -214,485.68M 405,579.05M 1,783.60B 1,361.99B
Net income 47,885.55M -301,002.84M 155,623.76M 1,392.15B 1,352.93B
EBITDA 204,421.16M 425,905.79M 715,805.68M 956,070.81M 1,149.00B
Diluted EPS 122.80 -755.18 367.62 3,145.59 3,054.75
Dividends Per Share 25.40 25.40 30 53 60
Total Assets 7,959.54B 8,737.25B 11,953.97B 22,779.55B 22,963.49B
Total liabilities 2,332.38B 2,997.13B 4,526.24B 9,189.58B 9,431.62B
Total equity 5,136.85B 5,225.35B 6,298.92B 9,984.37B 9,997.27B
Operating cash flow 491,469.88M 752,667.42M 971,096.47M 1,306.57B 678,376.49M
 Dec 2018Dec 2019Dec 2020Dec 2021Dec 2022
Revenue 2,196.23M 2,632.61M 3,523.06M 5,358.79M 5,500.21M
Gross Profit 1,149.66M 682.29M 1,820.89M 2,878.38M 3,005.44M
Operating income 63.05M 177.61M 384.68M 517.72M 448.78M
Income before tax 118.73M -183.92M 343.74M 1,557.51M 1,054.09M
Net income 43.51M -258.10M 131.89M 1,215.68M 1,047.08M
EBITDA 185.74M 365.21M 606.67M 834.88M 889.25M
Diluted EPS 0.11 -0.64 0.31 2.74 2.36
Dividends Per Share 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.04 0.04
Total Assets 7,133.48M 7,555.23M 11,004.29M 19,162.61M 18,160.13M
Total liabilities 2,090.32M 2,591.67M 4,166.65M 7,730.46M 7,458.78M
Total equity 4,603.73M 4,518.44M 5,798.50M 8,399.05M 7,906.10M
Operating cash flow 446.58M 645.41M 823.04M 1,140.95M 525.01M

Valuation Measures

Dec 2022
Operating margin8.15%
Profit margin19.03%

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. (1.8%)
  • BlackRock Fund Advisors (1.6%)
  • Norges Bank Investment Management (1.0%)
  • BlackRock Advisors (UK) Ltd. (0.7%)
  • Fidelity Management & Research Co. LLC (0.7%)

Contact Details

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Last Updated on 30 Mar, 2023

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