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Tencent Sees Profit Increase of 61% Thanks to Games Business

17 May 2018

Tencent Holdings smashed first-quarter expectations with a 61% profit increase driven by its mobile gaming and advertising services, the South China Morning Post reports this morning.

From an investing standpoint, Tencent has outperformed its American counterpart in the past 12 months: the company's stock price climbed 60 percent since May 2017, Facebook's is up by "just" 23 percent.

The drop was partly triggered by the company's warning in March that margins may be hurt by its plan to invest "aggressively" this year into areas including video content acquisition and payment subsidy.

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. It has developed a mobile version of the former that is available globally, while it owns almost half of Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite. Asia's largest company by market capitalization, Tencent reported $14 billion debt at the end of March, compared with $16 billion of cash at the same time previous year. Meanwhile, Tencent's overall online advertising business achieved 55 per cent year-on-year growth in revenues.

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This was probably the game in which you can say United lost the title race as City were rampant through the Christmas period. City have set competition records for wins, goals scored and points acquired during their march to glory in 2017-18.

Social networks revenues increased by 47% to RMB18.1 billion as WeChat user numbers passed 1.06 billion.

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.

There's an argument to be made for stripping out extraneous items because Tencent runs the games and social side of the business itself, but doesn't have direct control over investees. Naspers Ltd., which as Tencent's top shareholder is often regarded as a proxy for the Chinese firm, rose more than 6 percent Wednesday. That was followed by a $95 million stake in online short video platform Pear, after the end of the quarter. In January Tencent partnered with e-commerce companies Suning Commerce Group, JD.com and Sunac China Holdings in a 34 billion yuan investment in Wanda Commercial Properties, a Chinese retail operator, forging one of the world's biggest alliances between the new economy and bricks-and-mortar businesses.

Yet, Tencent managed to come up with another hit title "Fortnite", following the tremendous success of games like "Honour of Kings".

Tencent Sees Profit Increase of 61% Thanks to Games Business