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Tencent reports over a billion WeChat users in Q1

17 May 2018

The report shows that Tencent's total revenue in the first quarter was US$11.69 billion, rising 48% from the same period a year ago, driven by growth in mobile games, digital payment services, digital content subscriptions and social advertising. That's partly thanks to a one-time gain of nearly 7.6 billion yuan from its investments in arenas like video and news.

Tencent said its profits increased 61 percent year-on-year to 23.3bn yuan (US$3.7bn) between January and March.

The gross profit margin in the quarter was more than 50 percent, higher than the 47 percent expected by analysts. But adjusted earnings-per-share, which strips out one-time items, came to 1.92 yuan, missing the 1.94 yuan average estimate.

The stock price closed at HK$396.2 per share on Wednesday.

The stock climbed as much as 7.1 per cent in Hong Kong, its biggest intraday gain in more than two years.

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However, Tencent expects its PC game business to benefit from the roll-out of the PC versions of popular battle royale titles Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Tencent's gaming business has historically done well, with the PC games segment being the company's cash cow for a long time.

"Mobile game growth was very strong, as the first quarter is usually a good season when users spend more time on their devices during the holidays", said Benjamin Wu, a Shanghai-based analyst with Pacific Epoch.

Revenue from Value Added Services, which includes online games and messaging, rose 34 per cent to 46.9bn yuan.

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.

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Honour of Kings continues to be a core source of earnings. Another title - Honour of Kings - was the world's highest-grossing mobile game previous year thanks to its China-based users and Tencent has been pushing it to worldwide audiences. The mobile version of Fornite was an instant hit in the USA market after its March launch, becoming the highest-grossing iOS game there.

But overall costs surged 51 percent.

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.

In the video content sector, Tencent poured a total of $1.1 billion into two rivals in a 24-hour period, investing US$632 million and US$461.6 million respectively in Chinese game-streaming platforms Douyu and Huya in March.

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Tencent reports over a billion WeChat users in Q1