Big Hit Entertainment, the Korean music label which represents pop sensation BTS, recorded bumper profits in 2019.
The Seoul-based company saw revenue nearly double to $508 million, and operating profit grow by 28% to $85.4 million.
The diluted profit margin was explained by moves to diversify the company away from its reliance on BTS, through investing in other acts, and development of new business lines. “Big Hit pushed for optimizing its corporate structure in 2019 by transitioning into a multi-label system,” said an unnamed corporate spokesman. This includes a pipeline of new trainees.
The spokesman reported that: “BTS is making unprecedented achievements as Korean artists, and both Tomorrow X Together and girl group Gfriend are continuing their growth.”
BTS sold 3.72 million copies of “BTS’ Map of the Soul: Persona” album, according to independent data from the official Gaon Charts. The band accounted for more than half of Big Hit’s total album sales.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic BTS is expected to postpone parts of the remainder of its “Map of the Soul” tour. It recently announced recent the addition of a show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., but earlier canceled four shows in Seoul that were originally to have kicked off the tour. It recently said that new dates in Seoul will be added when the health and safety outlook improves.
Founded by Bang Si-Hyuk, Big Hit is currently privately controlled and is not obliged to make public its financial performance. It has previously indicated that it is seeking an IPO on the Korean Stock Exchange, and that it had appointed major financial institutions as underwriters of a share issue that might have brought in $1 billion of fresh capital and provided a valuation of $5 billion. The coronavirus has outbreak has rocked financial markets and put corporate valuations into freefall.
The company’s public statement provided no update about the listing, capital raising or anticipated valuation.
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