Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Tencent reports over a billion WeChat users in Q1

The logo of Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. The company posted a huge rise in earnings. Kim Kyung-Hoon  Reuters The logo of Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. The company posted a huge rise in earnings. Kim Kyung-Hoon Reuters
Laurie Berry | 17 May, 2018, 09:33

Tencent reported revenue of $11.7 billion and a net profit of $3.8 billion for the first quarter of 2018, compared to Facebook's $12.0 and $5.0 billion, respectively.

Net income climbed 61% to 23.3bn yuan (US$3.7bn) in the three months ended March, the Shenzhen-based company said on Wednesday.

Profit was also helped by one-time gains of nearly 7.6bn yuan from its investments in arenas like video and news. This upturn was largely driven by revenue from online games, advertisements and social networks. The owner of the giant WeChat messaging platform opened its wallet to sustain growth as PC gaming slows, investing in cloud computing, entertainment and physical retail to lock horns with Alibaba. It's also secured Chinese distribution rights to some of the world's hottest games including PUBG and Fortnite, adapting some into mobile titles as more users spend time on smartphones.

"Its margins were better than people expected", said Julia Pan, a Shanghai-based analyst at UOB Kay Hian.

Daiwa Securities raised its target price for Tencent to HK$530 from HK$490 on what it said was "a stellar set of results".

In addition, Tencent's largest shareholder, Naspers, reduced 2% of its holdings.

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Social networks revenues, including from Tencent's video and music business, increased by 47 percent to 18 billion yuan. But adjusted earnings-per-share, which strips out one-time items, came to 1.92 yuan, missing the 1.94 yuan average estimate.

Tencent's gaming business has historically done well, with the PC games segment being the company's cash cow for a long time. All businesses contributed to growth, with revenues going up 340 percent at Value Added Services, and rising 26 percent at online games.

Chinese Internet giant Tencent has confirmed that the number of active users on its multi-function messaging app WeChat surpassed one billion during the first quarter. Epic Games developed Fortnite. Smartphone games revenues alone were up 68 percent year-on-year to 21.7 billion yuan, thanks to titles such as "Honour of Kings".

But overall costs surged 51 percent.

"We will continue to invest in improving our own products as well as enabling services for our partners", founder and Chief Executive Officer Ma Huateng said in a statement.

Monthly active user accounts (MAU) declined to 805.5 million, down 6.4 percent from the year before and from 783 million in the previous quarter. The mobile version of Fornite was an instant hit in the USA market after its March launch, becoming the highest-grossing iOS game there.

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