SM Entertainment Reports Over $200 Million in Q3 2023 Revenue As Album Sales Hit All-Time High

sm entertainment earnings
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sm entertainment earnings
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SM Entertainment act Red Velvet, which is set to drop a new album next Monday. Photo Credit: Star’s Dusts

K-pop agency SM Entertainment (KRX: 041510) has reported ₩266.3 billion (currently $203.3 million) in revenue for Q3 2023, when album sales are said to have hit an all-time high.

The Hybe (KRX: 352820) rival, which serves as the professional home of artists like Aespa, Exo, and Red Velvet, published its third-quarter earnings breakdown today. According to the document, the aforementioned ₩266.3 billion marks a roughly 12 percent improvement from the same stretch in 2022 as well as an 11.1 percent quarterly spike.

Behind the sum, SM identified significant jumps in album sales (₩113.4 billion/$86.6 million, up 57.5 percent YoY) and concerts (₩24.5 billion/$18.7 million, up 124.2 percent YoY). The former category’s revenue resulted from the sale of 8.71 million units, including 4.32 million copies of NCT Dream’s ISTJ (which dropped in July) and 1.9 million copies of Exo’s Exist (which also debuted in July), per SM.

The latter category, for its part, benefited from 83 third-quarter concerts and/or fan meetings, as NCT Dream and Aespa (which is prepping an English-language album) remained on the road. (Regarding the broader international-expansion ambitions of SM, the business and its Kakao stakeholder, itself traded as 035720 on the Korea Exchange, opened a North American division in August.)

Rounding out the core Q3 financials of SM, execs pointed to ₩21.5 billion ($16.4 million) in appearances revenue (including TV and adverts) and ₩28.9 billion ($22.1 million) in MD/licensing revenue, which increased by about nine percent YoY.

Plus, SM’s overall net income for Q3 rose by 188.8 percent YoY to 84.2 billion/$64.3 million, with a record 50.5 billion/$38.6 million in operating profit (up 69.8 percent YoY), the resource shows.

In terms of revenue attributable to subsidiaries such as management firm KeyEast and the events-focused Dream Maker – a portion of the total overlaps with the sums mentioned above – SM disclosed ₩122.3 billion ($93.4 million), down about 11 percent YoY despite a 35.5 percent YoY boost for “others.”

Looking forward to the remainder of Q4 as well as 2024’s start, SM emphasized forthcoming projects from Aespa (which is set to release Drama on Friday), Red Velvet (Chill Kill on the 13th), and more.

During today’s trading, SM Entertainment stock (KRX: 041510) dipped by 2.11 percent to ₩106,700/$81.45 – a price that nevertheless reflects 42 percent growth from 2023’s start. Last week, Hybe (which has welcomed several SM acts to its WeVerse platform) reported ₩537.86 billion ($410.6 million) in Q3 revenue due in part to the continued success of Jungkook’s solo career.

Beyond these often-discussed K-pop players, which were publicly battling one another in the not-so-distant past, Attrakt drew a multimillion-dollar investment in September, and JYP Entertainment (KRX: 035900) over the summer quietly expanded its Universal Music Group pact.