Hybe Records Historic 2 Trillion Won in Annual Sales as First K-pop Agency

SEOUL - Hybe announced on Monday that it has become the first K-pop agency to surpass 2 trillion won ($1.5 billion) in annual sales for the year 2023, despite the temporary hiatus of group activities from its leading act, BTS, due to mandatory military service.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Hybe credited its landmark revenue figures to strong album sales and concert performances by its roster of artists, including Seventeen, Tomorrow X Together, NewJeans, Enhypen, and solo projects from BTS members.

The firm detailed a year-over-year revenue increase to approximately 2.178 trillion won, a 22.6 percent rise from the previous year. Operating profit also saw a significant boost, climbing to 295.8 billion won, marking a 24.9 percent increase, while net profit surged to 186.6 billion won, a staggering 288.5 percent jump from the year before.

Revenue attributed directly to artist involvement spiked by 51.4 percent, reaching 1.4715 trillion won, although revenue from indirect artist involvement dipped by 12.1 percent to 706.6 billion won. Album sales by Hybe's music labels soared to 970.5 billion won, up 75.8 percent from 2022, and concert revenue increased by 39.1 percent to 359.1 billion won as the concert market rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic's effects.

However, the company observed declines in merchandising and licensing revenue by 17.7 percent, alongside a 15.1 percent drop in content sales. Despite these challenges, Hybe artists dominated the Circle Chart's annual album rankings for 2023, with Seventeen leading with 15.94 million copies sold. Other notable placements included Tomorrow X Together, NewJeans, Enhypen, and BTS members Jungkook and V, who also secured high positions on the chart.

The absence of BTS as a group was counterbalanced by the successful solo debuts of members Jimin and Jungkook on the U.S. Billboard's Hot 100 main singles chart, alongside Tomorrow X Together and NewJeans achieving top positions on the Billboard 200 albums chart. This achievement nearly doubled Hybe's total album sales from 22.2 million copies to 43.6 million copies last year.

Hybe also reported an expansion in its concert activities, with the number of artists holding concerts growing from four to seven groups, and the total number of concerts increasing from 78 to 125. Highlighted among the most successful tours were BTS Suga's sold-out solo concert tour, Seventeen's "Follow" tour, and the first North American stadium and Japanese dome tours by Tomorrow X Together and Enhypen, alongside Le Sserafim's inaugural world tour.

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