Tencent advances revenues 48%, profit over 60% in Q1

Tencent is back in the $500 billion club. The Chinese tech conglomerate which owns the popular We Chat and QQ messaging and payment apps and a host of top mobile games reported earnings that topped forecasts

China's most valuable firm reported a 48% increase in revenue and a 61% jump in net profit for its first quarter-both handily beating analysts' estimates. The Hong Kong-listed company reported an operating margin of 42 per cent, up 3 percentage points from the same period a year ago. Anchored by its marquee title, the smartphone games business yielded 68 percent growth in the quarter.

That came after Tencent's rare miss in revenue growth the quarter before, which had prompted worries about a slowdown in games sales, its largest profit driver. Tencent said that there was "double digit growth" in terms of daily active users for the game.

Revenue from PC games was flat compared to previous year, but analysts believe the comparison was tough with the 2017 first quarter, and overall its games business was strong. Their parent company Tencent first became China's largest tech company in terms of market capitalization in 2016, and is now going back and forth with e-commerce behemoth Alibaba in the race for this title. This upturn was largely driven by revenue from online games, advertisements and social networks. Developed by Tencent's own studio, the mobile title resembles the world's most popular desktop title League of Legends, whose developer was acquired by Tencent in 2015.

The game has gone viral and has over 40 million monthly active users across PC and consoles.

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The company is exploring ways to integrate short video into its social network platforms, Tencent chairman and chief executive Pony Ma Huateng said in March during annual parliamentary meetings in Beijing. Now not available in China, it is scheduled to be launched there during the next couple of months. That's still not cheap: But investors can now expect a return to the good old days of Tencent's shares heading ever higher.

The gross profit margin in the quarter was more than 50 per cent, higher than the 47 per cent expected by analysts.

Tencent's other retail partners include Carrefour, Walmart, Yonghui Superstores, Vipshop Holdings, Bubugao and JD.com, who are looking to leverage the internet giant's capabilities in mobile payments, customer acquisition and cloud services. The company's investment in original content helped drive paid video subscriptions up 85 percent on the year.

Platforms such as QQ, Qzone and WeChat in particular have hundreds of millions of users and, just as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, they're all owned by the same company.

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