Twitter posts quarterly loss as revenue climbs

Twitter at its corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Twitter at its corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Twitter on Tuesday reported that it lost US$137 million (S$187 million) in the recently ended quarter on revenue that jumped 61 per cent to more than half a billion dollars.

In a closely watched figure, Twitter said that the number of people using the one-to-many messaging service monthly climbed 15 per cent to 316 million compared to the same three-month period a year earlier.

Twitter shares leapt more than 5 per cent in after-hours trade following the report.

The results "show good progress in monetisation, but we are not satisfied with our growth in audience," Twitter co-founder and interim chief executive Jack Dorsey said in a release.

"In order to realise Twitter's full potential, we must improve in three key areas: ensure more disciplined execution, simplify our service to deliver Twitter's value faster, and better communicate that value."

Dorsey has assumed the CEO job on a temporary basis following the departure of Dick Costolo, as Twitter searches for a new chief.

Twitter took in US$502 million in revenue during the recently-ended quarter, most of the money coming from ads on mobile devices used to access the service, according to the earnings report.

The San Francisco-based company's loss in the quarter was trimmed from the US$144.6 million it lost in the same period last year.

Twitter forecast that revenue in the current quarter would range from US$545 million to US$560 million, and that it would wind up taking in US$2.2 billion to US$2.27 billion in revenue for the full year.

Twitter has said it wants a full-time CEO, signalling Dorsey likely will not be picked.

Dorsey, in addition to stepping in at Twitter, leads Square, a growing mobile payments company that is rumoured to be planning an initial public offering.

Costolo announced June 11 he was stepping down amid criticism of the social media company's slowing growth.

Dorsey previously held the Twitter job for about a year and a half, leaving the post in 2008.

Costolo came on board in 2010.

Costolo was under tremendous pressure from investors to prove his worth by ramping ranks of Twitter users and revenues brought in by the globally popular one-to-many messaging service.

Costolo guided the San Francisco-based firm through its initial public offering, but growth has been disappointing and the company has yet to show a profit.

Dorsey has said he would split his time between Twitter and Square, relying on management teams he knows and trusts.