Twitter boosts revenue, users, but still profitless in latest quarter

NEW YORK (AFP) - Twitter on Tuesday reported a US$132 million (S$165.7 million) loss in the first quarter, while revenues rose sharply and the popular messaging platform boosted its user base.

The company said revenues grew 119 per cent from a year ago to US$250 million, and its monthly active users rose to 255 million.

"We had a very strong first quarter. Revenue growth accelerated on a year over year basis fueled by increased engagement and user growth," said chief executive Dick Costolo.

"We also continue to rapidly increase our reach and scale."

Mr Costolo said that with the integration of the mobile advertising startup MoPub, "we now reach more than one billion iOS and Android users each month, making us one of the largest in-app mobile ad exchanges in the world and the only one at scale to offer native in-app advertising."

Twitter made a splash last year on Wall Street with a surge on its market debut, but its shares have struggled since then amid doubts on its pace of growth and progress toward profitability.

Using a popular Wall Street measure excluding special items, Twitter essentially broke even on a per-share basis, according to its quarterly report.

But investors were unimpressed, and Twitter's shares sank more than eight per cent in after-hours electronic trades to US$39.12.

Twitter said the number of monthly active users was up 25 per cent from a year ago at 255 million, and 198 million were on mobile devices.

Advertising revenue hit US$226 million, an increase of 125 per cent over the past year, with mobile accounting for roughly 80 per cent of the total.