Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Facebook reports 38% revenue rise

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Facebook has reported first-quarter revenue of 1.46 billion US dollars (£937 million) - up 38% on the 1.06 billion US dollars (£679 million) for the same period last year.

An average of 665 million people used the social media platform every day in March, it said, an increase of 26% on the same time last year. It also announced that the number of active users accessing it via mobile devices - smartphones and tablets - had risen 54% year on year to 751 million per month, out of a total of 1.11 billion per month.

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: "We've made a lot of progress in the first few months of the year. We have seen strong growth and engagement across our community and launched several exciting products."

He announced that Instagram, the photo-sharing and editing platform Facebook paid one billion US dollars for last year, now has 100 million users.

Facebook said it made 1.25 billion dollars of revenue from advertising, which was 85% of its total revenue and a 43% increase from the same quarter last year. Mobile ad cash made up 30% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2013, it added.

Last month the social media firm announced the launch of Facebook Home, an app that allows people to use Facebook to control and organise their smartphone.

Andrew Yates, chief executive of social media customer relations specialist Artesian Solutions, said: "Following its initial lofty valuation, Facebook's focus has been on investing in a sustainable business model anchored around mobile and search. With more people accessing Facebook from mobile devices, the company is successfully convincing investors of its potential to generate large revenues by using mobile to influence the masses.

"In the last three months, it has acquired Parse, developed Facebook Home, and announced plans for new software that sends ads directly to a smartphone's home screen. In addition, Facebook is using the enormous volume of available user information to develop its search credentials. In the future, the biggest challenge for Facebook will be keeping its billion users engaged by increasing the relevance of content that people see."

Facebook was floated on the Nasdaq last May in what was one of the largest initial public offerings in history, netting co-creator Mr Zuckerberg more than a billion US dollars (£630 million). But its share price fell dramatically months later and it saw some 49 billion US dollars (£31.2 billion) wiped from its value.

In December it became the latest firm to come under scrutiny over its tax affairs after reportedly siphoning £440 million into an offshore haven to avoid payments in the UK and other overseas markets. The social networking giant paid £2.9 million of corporation tax - including less than £240,000 in Britain - last year despite making more than £800 million in overseas profits in 2011, according to The Sunday Times.

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