Tokyo, Japan – May 8, 2014 – LINE Corporation, owner and operator of the free call and messaging app LINE, today announced their Q1 (January – March) earnings for 2014.
LINE Corporation’s revenue＊1 for the quarter was JPY 18 billion, an increase of 14% over the previous quarter.
The revenue for LINE Corporation’s core business, LINE, totaled JPY 14.6 billion in the first quarter, a 19% increase over the previous quarter and a 223% increase over the same quarter in the previous year.
User numbers have continued to climb steadily in 2014, reaching the 400 million mark on April 1. As of this press release, over 420 million people worldwide are using LINE. In addition to countries and regions where user bases are already strong, such as Southeast Asia and Spain, LINE has also captured new users in South American countries such as Chile and Venezuela through exploring joint marketing campaigns with local businesses, offering localized stickers, and airing television commercials, further establishing its global presence.
The game business has seen its own success. Popular titles like LINE Pokopang remained strong and new titles released in 2014 like LINE Cookie Run, LINE Rangers, and LINE Disney Tsum Tsum turned out to be great hits, leading to increases in both player numbers and sales. Existing games have also grown to support more languages, including Thai and Traditional Chinese, further contributing to foreign player numbers and sales. Support for more languages will be added based on local characteristics in the future.
The sticker business further expanded its earnings this quarter by partnering with popular cartoon characters and well-known illustrators and designers from around the world to provide highly localized sticker sets tailored to the tastes of individual markets. This was especially effective in Italy and France, where stickers starring popular local characters contributed to an increase in LINE users in the regions. The Sticker Shop currently contains stickers featuring over 500 famous characters with plans for further expansion in the future.
The advertising business saw an increase in the number of companies using its official account and sponsored stickers features in countries across the globe. The use of LINE Must-Buy stickers, a feature that allows users who purchase a certain product to download a special set of stickers, also increased this quarter. LINE Free Coins expanded to a total of eight countries and regions＊2, and the incentive service is making significant strides to further establish its presence as a marketing platform.
Comment from LINE Corporation CEO Akira Morikawa:
The marketplace for messaging services has undergone tremendous change since the start of the new year, with buyouts and investments in such services occurring across the world. In the midst of all this, we are grateful that we could maintain expansion of our user base, growing our potential as a platform as well as our profitability.
In addition, according to the American app ranking publication App Annie, LINE ranked first for Android apps and second for iOS apps in both app revenue (games excluded) and publisher revenue (games excluded) in March of this year＊, further solidifying the fact that our presence now exists on a global scale.
However, in order to achieve the rank of the world's No. 1 communication infrastructure, we must not rest on the laurels of our current success. It is essential that we continue to seek new challenges, redoubling our efforts in countries and regions where we are already established as well as breaking ground into new ones.
Please note that the above figures are based on preliminary internal financial information and not external auditors’ assessments.
＊1：Consolidated performance including subsidiaries such as LINE PLUS Corporation, LINE Business Partners Corporation, and DataHotel Co., LTD.
＊2： Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.