SEOUL -- Kakao Pay, the online payment arm of South Korea's tech giant Kakao Corp., posted a net profit of 27.5 billion won ($22 million) on a consolidated basis last year, the company said on January 7.
The firm attributed the profit to handsome financial income from internal reserves which increased amid high interest rates. However, Kakao Pay suffered an operating loss of 45.5 billion won in 2022, compared to 27.2 billion won worth of loss a year earlier.
The payment service platform's consolidated sales surged 13.7 percent year-on-year to 521.7 billion won from the previous year's 458.6 billion won. It was the first time that the company has posted more than 500 billion won in sales. Kakao's payment transactions jumped 19 percent year-on-year to 118 trillion won in 2022.
A company official said Kakao Pay showed relatively strong performance last year, despite the disruption of the online payment network and other services of Kakao Corp., including KakaoTalk and Kakao Mobility, which took place last October due to a fire in a data center in Pangyo, south of Seoul.
In the fourth quarter of last year, the company's sales fell 3.6 percent to 122.9 trillion won from a year ago. Its operating loss was estimated at 22.3 billion won, down 22.8 percent from the same period of 2021. However, payment transactions amounted to 30.9 trillion won, up 17 percent from a year ago.
The number of subscribers to Kakao Pay rose 5 percent to 39.44 million at the end of last year from a year ago. The monthly number of active users climbed 7 percent to 23.02 million. The average number of transactions for each user stood at 101 in 2022, up 7 percent from 2021.
Kakao Pay expanded its payment service in Japan, Macau, China, Singapore and France. The company said it is making efforts to launch its service in other countries and enhance convenience for users this year.
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