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Tencent gets a buck from profits

TENCENT Holdings Ltd, operator of China's biggest Internet-chat service, rose more than 9 percent in the morning trading after it reported a higher-than-expected profit in the first quarter.

Net income rose 95 percent to reach 1.04 billion yuan in the first three months of the year with a surge in online-game users, the company said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Total revenues rose 74.8 percent to 2.5 billion yuan, a 19.4 percent increase quarter on quarter.

Revenues from Internet value-added services added 90.7 percent year on year to 1.90 billion yuan and mobile & telecommunications value-added services contributed 439 million yuan.

"The visibility of the advertising market is still low but the performance of user-paid services has been relatively resilient in the economic downturn," according to Ma Huateng, chairman and CEO of Tencent.

The number of active QQ-messenger accounts rose 9.1 percent from the previous quarter to reach 410.8 million by the end of March.

Instant messenger users in China numbered 220 million by the end of last year, up 31 percent from the previous year, according to figures from the China Internet Network Information Center. Tencent took 86.4 percent of the market, according to a research report by iResearch Inc released in April.

Lau Chi Ping, president of Tencent, said at a shareholder's meeting in Hong Kong that Tencent can do a lot more in online game business by providing various kinds of service to different groups of users.

The company sees a quite weak season in the second quarter for its Internet value-added services but a better performance of its online advertising business without giving detailed estimate of its revenues.


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