Shown above is the head office of HYBE in Seoul. The South Korean entertainment company racked up record performances during the first quarter of this year even without its representative boy group BTS. Photo courtesy of HYBE

1Q sales, profits reach record highs

South Korean entertainment company HYBE announced on May 2 that it had logged record performances during the first quarter of this year even without its famous septet BTS.

The Seoul-based company’s sales amounted to $306 million during the first three months of 2023, up 44.1 percent from a year ago, for an operating profit of $39 million, up 41.7 percent.

The solid figures came without its representative boy group BTS, which announced its plan to pause performing as a group last June due to the military services of its members.

Instead, BTS member Jimin underpinned HYBE this year with its solo album released in March. Its title song Like Crazy debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

HYBE’s another idol group TXT contributed much as its fifth album racked up more than 3 million sales during the January-March period. Those of NewJeans and Seventeen also topped 1 million over the period, respectively.

“We will not save our support for the continued growth of our artists and music intellectual property,” HYBE CEO Park Ji-won told a conference call. “Based on the IP, we will come up with various concerts and content for our fans.”

HYBE is expected to fare well during the remainder of this year.

After dropping his solo album last month, another BTS member Suga has started his world tour. He will host concerts in the United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, and Japan.

“Although BTS does not perform as a group, its members are still very significant assets for HYBE. New stars also keep coming to the fore to buttress the firm’s turnover and profit,” HMC Investment & Securities analyst Kim Hyun-yong said.

“As a result, the firm’s top line and bottom line are likely to get better in the second quarter. Plus, we need to keep an eye on HYBE’s global business.”

In 2021, HYBE spent $1.05 billion to acquire Ithaca Holdings of the United States. Included in the latter’s stars are Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.

The share price of HYBE went up 5% on the South Korean stock exchange on May 2.

Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at homin30@hanmail.net or 82-2-6956-6698.