Mobile lifts Facebook to record sales

FACEBOOK’S revenues hit new heights at the end of last year, as the social network cashed in on more people using it on smartphones.

Turnover during the final three months of 2012 hit $1.59bn (£1bn), a 26 per cent rise on the previous quarter, and 40 per cent up year-on-year, the company said yesterday.

Facebook also announced that, for the first time, more people were accessing its service on mobile phones than on PCs. As more people buy internet-connected smartphones, they are increasingly accessing Facebook on the move, and the social network has struggled to convince investors it is able to grow as more people use it on devices with smaller screens, where it is more difficult to place adverts.

Yesterday, however, it said mobile accounted for 23 per cent of all advertising revenues.

“Today there’s no argument – Facebook is a mobile company,” chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said. “We started the year with no ads on mobile and we ended up with roughly 23 per cent. That’s pretty amazing.”

Despite revenues leaping, net profits fell from $302m a year earlier to $64m due to share-based compensation payments associated with last year’s initial public offering. Zuckerberg also warned that profits would be low in 2013 as he invests in new products and services.

Facebook shares fell in after-hours trading yesterday, to stand at around $30. Although the company’s shares have improved since September’s lows, they are still some way off the $38 per share price that valued Facebook at $100bn when it floated last May.