7 months ago • 1 min
China's Tencent marked a return to revenue growth in the first quarter as it recovered from COVID-19-related disruptions and a regulatory freeze on gaming licenses a year earlier.
The world's largest video game company and operator of the WeChat messaging platform on Wednesday posted an 11% rise in revenue, beating analyst expectations.
Revenue reached 149.98 billion yuan ($21.70 billion) for the three months ended March 31, topping the 146.09 billion expected by 17 analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Net profit rose 11% to 25.83 billion yuan, missing the 29.67 billion expected by analysts.
Tencent posted its first annual revenue decline last year, hit hard by China's now-abandoned zero-COVID policy as well as a months-long freeze on gaming licenses by regulators that prevented it from releasing new games.
But it is likely heading for a rebound this year after the government resumed license approvals last year. The firm unveiled a long pipeline of games on Monday including seven titles ready to go online this summer.
"During the first quarter of 2023, we achieved solid revenue growth as our payment volumes benefitted from, and facilitated, domestic consumption recovery, our games revenue improved, and our advertising revenue sustained rapid growth," Tencent said in a statement.
Two of Tencent's most popular games – Honour of Kings and CrossFire – earned record revenue thanks to newly added features and promotions, while newly launched games also recorded solid sales and user growth.
Domestic gaming revenue gained 6% to 35.1 billion yuan while international gaming revenue rose 25% to 13.2 billion yuan.
Tencent also saw revenue from online ads rise 17% to 21 billion yuan.
Revenue from fintech and business services grew 14% to 48.7 billion yuan as the firm continued to expand in those areas.
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