Tencent's Record Profit Soothes Fears of Margins Squeeze

WeChat now has more than a billion users

WeChat now has more than a billion users

The increase there was mainly driven by growth at smartphone games, including existing titles such as Honour of Kings and newly launched titles MU Awakening and QQ Speed Mobile.

Despite criticism that Tencent has lost its innovation ability and has become more like an investor, the company has proved that its investing activities actually go hand in hand with the development of its core business.

Fortnite, though unavailable in China yet, has gone viral in United States and Europe and ranked as the top-grossing game globally in March, according to Superdata.

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 company's revenue rose by 48 percent year-on-year while net profit was up by 61 percent for the same period. Since late March, the shares have seen a sharp reversal, losing about $87 billion in value to leave Tencent with a market capitalisation of about $480 billion.

"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.

Tencent has been on a shopping spree, expanding into different sectors including e-commerce and automobiles.

Tencent's WeChat messenger app now has 1.04 billion users. Finally, revenues from the online advertising business increased by 55 percent, with social and other advertising revenues up 69 percent and media advertising revenues lifting 31 percent.

Over the past year Tencent has completed 62 deals involving direct investments and mergers and acquisitions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. "The increase primarily reflected growth in revenues from digital content services such as live broadcast, video streaming subscriptions and our music service namely WeSing, as well as from in-game virtual item sales", Tencent said.

It's estimated that Tencent has acquired stakes in almost 300 companies since 2013, about 50 on average a year.

The internet giant has also plunged into offline retail sectors.

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