TOKYO - Japanese messaging app Line said on Thursday its revenue in the last quarter of 2013 jumped more than five times on the year to push its full-year sales to 34.3 billion yen ($339 million), making it the top-earning non-game smartphone app last year.
The app is owned by Line Corp, a subsidiary of South Korea's Naver Corp which may choose a foreign exchange for a widely expected IPO this year, sources say. One source valued the company at around $10 billion.
Line Corp, which also owns internet portal Livedoor and several other businesses, said its group revenue jumped 16 percent in the October-December quarter to 15.9 billion yen, with its full-year sales clocking in at 51.8 billion yen.
Its app, which now has 340 million users and targets 500 million this year, was the top-grossing non-game app on Apple Inc AAPL.O's store and Google Inc's Google Play store in 2013, ranking 6th in terms of total downloads, according to marketing research firm App Annie.
Line said that 60 percent of the app's 12.2 billion yen revenue in the October-December quarter came from games, while around 20 percent came from "stickers", or sets of oversized cartoon-like emoticons that users can use in chats. The rest of its sales came from sponsors and public accounts.