Big Hit Entertainment, home to K-pop superstars BTS, has revealed its larger-than-expected revenue for the first half of 2019, proving itself to be a great potential game changer in the industry.
The unlisted company said Wednesday it posted a record 200.1 billion won ($166.5 billion) in sales for the first six months of the year, which is just 14 billion won shy of the sales it generated for all of 2018.
Its first-half operating profit reached 39.1 billion won, which compares with a full-year profit of 64.1 billion won.
It attributed the strong bottom line to the solid performance by its content business, on top of record and concert ticket sales.
In particular, it earned 93.6 billion won from ticket sales of BTS' latest "Love Yourself: Speak Yourself" world tour held in May and June.
The numbers helped late-coming Big Hit stand shoulder to shoulder with big name listed labels -- SM Entertainment Co., JYP Entertainment Corp. and YG Entertainment Inc. -- or even run ahead of them.
Apart from the stellar performance by Big Hit, the local entertainment industry has brought in mixed first half earnings results amid a series of scandals involving K-pop stars and a show biz tycoon.
Industry leader SM Entertainment, which is behind EXO and other steady-selling K-pop stars, logged 290.4 billion won in sales for the first half, up 23.6 percent from a year ago. But its first-half operating profit tumbled 67.2 percent on-year to 6.7 billion won.
JYP Entertainment pulled off remarkable growth thanks to the rising popularity of girl group TWICE in the six months through June. Its sales jumped 20 percent on-year to 65.5 billion won, while its operating profit also soared 45.7 percent to 15.2 billion won.
However, YG Entertainment, whose founder has been under a police probe for various allegations, including illegal gambling, swung to an operating loss of 2 billion won over the same period.
Its revenues inched up 3.1 percent on-year to 142.8 billion won.
If Big Hit goes public, experts expect the company's market cap to reach around 2 trillion won, far outnumbering the current No. 1 SM Entertainment worth 687.7 billion won.
"At the end of last year when BTS renewed their contract with Big Hit, the company's possible market value soared," said Han Sang-woung, an analyst from Eugene Investment & Securities Co. "But now Big Hit has to show how it can make money through its new business items in the future."
Big Hit is gearing up its drive to improve its brand value through expanding its business portfolio to the mobile game, drama production and other sectors like publications on the back of worldwide sensation of its artists BTS.
"Its business expansion is timely good, but the market wants to know what's next after BTS," the analyst said. (Yonhap)