Facebook Boosts Mobile Advert Sales

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Facebook’s first-quarter profits tripled, aided by significant growth in its mobile user base and mobile ad sales

Facebook has reported first-quarter profits that almost tripled year-on-year, driven by an 82 percent rise in advertising revenues to $2.27bn (£1.43bn).

Net profits rose to $642m, up from $219m in the first three months of last year. Revenues rose 72 percent to $2.5bn, beating analyst estimates of $2.36bn.

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Growing mobile user base

Nearly half of the world’s internet population now uses the social network, which now has 1.28bn monthly active users, up from 1.23bn in the previous quarter. Moreover, one billion of these now access the service via a mobile device.

Mobile advertising, a revenue source that was practically nonexistent for Facebook when it went public two years ago, now makes up 59 percent of the company’s overall advertising revenues, up from 30 percent a year ago.

Facebook has moved to expand its mobile activities with the Facebook Messenger service and a news application called Paper. The company also acquired photo-sharing service Instagram in 2012 and in February agreed to pay $19bn for mobile text messaging service WhatsApp.

Non-advertising revenues

The company is said to be looking to expand its non-advertising businesses with projects including an international money-transfer service.

“Facebook’s business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014,” said Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in a statement.

The company announced chief financial officer David Ebersman will leave Facebook after his five-year tenure and plans to return to the healthcare sector. He will be replaced by David Wehner, Facebook’s vice president for corporate finance and business planning, who was formerly chief financial officer at games company Zynga.

Facebook’s shares rose more than 4 percent in after-hours trading.

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