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Facebook rides mobile to strong profit gains

 Facebook/AFP

Facebook on Wednesday reported that its quarterly profit jumped 33.8 percent from last year to $696 million as ad revenue and membership grew at the leading social network.

The California-based Internet titan said that revenue in the final quarter of last year hit $3.85 billion as the number of active monthly users increased 13 percent to 1.39 billion.

“We got a lot done in 2014,” said Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

“Our community continues to grow and we’re making progress towards connecting the world.”

A strong showing in ads served up on smartphones or tablet computers helped Facebook earnings beat analyst forecasts.

Shares sank slightly more than a percent to $75.40 in after-market trades that followed release of the figures.

Facebook saw its first quarter of taking in more than $3 billion overall from ads, with about two-thirds of that coming from mobile advertising revenue which soared 69 percent from the same period a year earlier.

An average of 745 million Facebook members daily used mobile devices to visit the social network in December of last year, the company reported.

Facebook said that its properties Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp recently topped 300 million, 500 million, and 700 million monthly active users respectively.

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For the full year, Facebook’s profit nearly doubled to $2.9 billion and revenue jumped 58 percent to $12.8 billion.

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