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(LEAD) NCsoft posts record earnings from flagship games
By Lee Minji
SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean game giant NCsoft Corp. said Tuesday it posted a record quarterly profit in the fourth quarter of last year on the back of its flagship game Lineage and the successful launch of new games.

   Consolidated net profit reached 101.9 billion won (US$93.7 million) in the October-December period, growing nearly six-fold from 17.1 billion won a year earlier, NCsoft said in a regulatory filing.

   Revenue more than doubled to a record 283.4 billion won in the cited period, while operating profit surged more than seven-fold to a record 113.2 billion won.

   By region, the company reaped 121.5 billion won revenue on its home turf. Its revenue in North America, Europe and Japan followed with 70.9 billion won, 51.3 billion won and 20.7 billion won, respectively.

   The company said its key product Lineage as well as successful launches of new games Blade & Soul and Guild Wars 2 drove the record earnings.

   Lineage generated 64.9 billion won in revenue, while Blade & Soul and Guild Wars 2 each posted 26.9 billion won and 119 billion won in sales, it said.

   "Despite growing competition in the online game market at home and abroad, NCsoft posted an earnings growth on the back of successful launches," a company official said, adding NCsoft plans to sustain its growth by releasing Blade & Soul and Guild Wars 2 in China this year.

   The company's net profit for the year jumped 30.6 percent to 153.7 billion won. Revenue rose 23.8 percent on-year to 753.5 billion won, while operating profit rose 11.4 percent to 151.3 billion won.

   NCsoft said it aims to reap an annual operating profit of 170 billion won on a revenue of 790 billion won. The guidance does not include business forecasts for China.

   Shares of NCsoft slumped 3.64 percent to 132,500 won on the main stock market.