Naver, the largest internet portal in South Korea and maker of messaging app Line, recorded solid profit and revenue growth in the final quarter of 2019, with double-digit gains in its advertising and IT platform businesses.

Net profit jumped 58.2 per cent year-on-year to KRW196 billion ($164 million), with operating revenue increasing 17.9 per cent to KRW1.79 trillion.

Ad revenue rose 10.7 per cent earlier to KRW172 billion, which Naver attributed to the introduction of new mobile products and higher prices. The IT platform business, which includes Naver Pay and cloud services, increased revenue 28.9 per cent to KRW136 billion.

Operating income fell 18.7 per cent KRW173 billion due to one-off expenses including year-end bonuses and share based compensation adjustments reflecting a share price rise and increases in costs at Line.

For the full year, net profit dropped 36.8 per cent to KRW397 billion, on revenue of KRW6.59 trillion, up 18 per cent year-on-year.

In November 2019, Naver agreed to merge Line with SoftBank’s subsidiary Z Holdings (formerly Yahoo Japan), a deal tipped to create a company worth $30 billion.

The deal is expected to be completed by October.