Mobile ads help Facebook revenues beat forecasts

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Facebook has reported a better-than-expected 38 per cent leap in revenues for the first quarter, boosted by an increase in advertising to mobile users.

The social network, which floated last year, reported revenues of $1.46 billion (£939 million) for the first three months of the year, up from $1.06bn a year earlier and ahead of analysts’ forecasts of $1.44bn.

It also said the number of active users accessing it via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets had risen 54 per cent year-on-year to 751 million a month.

Facebook generated $1.25bn of revenue from advertising, equivalent to 85 per cent of total revenues and a 43 per cent increase from the same quarter last year. Mobile adverts made up 30 per cent of advertising revenue.

Co-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.”

Facebook was floated on the Nasdaq stock exchange last May in what was one of the largest initial public offerings in history, netting Zuckerberg more than $1bn.

Net income for the three months to March rose to $219m, up from $205m a year ago.

Andrew Yates, chief executive of social media customer research firm Artesian Solutions, said: “Facebook’s revenues are still dwarfed by dotcom giants, such as Amazon and Google, but it’s only just started to scratch the surface of the revenue opportunities it holds.

“Moving forwards, I anticipate that Facebook will continue to monetise its services by developing new offerings that provide dynamic content based on users’ data.”