Would AhnLab fly on Ahn’s bid for presidency?
The country’s largest anti-virus software provider, AhnLab, is expected to break its own sales record this year on the back of the presidential ambitions of its founder and the largest stake holder.
Ahn Cheol-soo, the company’s founder with a 28.56 percent stake in the firm, currently serves as Dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology at Seoul National University. He enjoys high popularity among young, reform-minded voters. In a book published about him on Monday, he made public his ambitions for the nation’s top job. The presidential election will be held on Dec. 19.
Analysts said it’s only a matter of time before the company breaks its record high sales of 100 billion won ($87.6 million) set last year. This forecast is considered to be plausible in the market after the firm announced on Friday its performances during the second quarter of this year.
AhnLab posted 29.16 billion won in sales during the second quarter of the year, up 12 percent from the corresponding period last year, and 3.74 billion won in operating profit, up 74 percent from a year ago.
Including these outcomes, the firm earned 55.23 billion won in sales during the first half of the year, up 27.3 percent from the same period of last year. Despite aggressive investment for overseas expansion, its operating profit increased by three percent, dispelling concerns among industry watchers that the company’s aggressive overseas expansion will dent its bottom line.
“The steep increase in sales is largely attributable to AhnLab’s aggressive marketing activities in the overseas market,” an analyst said. “Its sales record in the domestic market showed a moderate increase, but Ahn’s presidential ambitions, if confirmed, will help boost the company’s domestic sales.”
AhnLab doesn’t want its performances to be affected by the political activities of its largest stake holder.
“We agree with the view that the sales hike is attributable to our overseas expansion and the release of new products,” an AhnLab spokesman said. “The company will distance itself from Ahn until presidential the election in order to avoid any impact ㅡ either positive or negative ㅡ from the political world.”
The book about him published Monday, “Ahn Cheol-soo’s Thoughts” by Professor Jae Jeong-im of Semyung University’s Graduate School of Journalism, contains his views on key political issues such as youth unemployment, education, school bullying and North Korea among others.
Until now, he had remained silent on such issues so many political analysts take the publication as a de facto declaration of his bid for the presidency.