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Bigger profit lifts Tencent to highest
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Tencent Holdings Ltd, operator of China's biggest instant messaging service, rose to its highest level on the Hong Kong stock market yesterday after it reported a higher-than-expected profit in the first quarter of this year.

Its net income soared 95 percent to 1.04 billion yuan (US$152 million) in the first three months on more online-game users, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

Its shares closed 9.82 percent higher to end at HK$79.95 (US$10.32) yesterday.

The firm's total revenue jumped 74.8 percent to 2.5 billion yuan, a 19.4 percent increase quarter on quarter.

Revenue from Internet value-added services gained 90.7 percent year on year to 1.90 billion yuan and revenue from mobile and telecommunications value-added services were 439 million yuan.

"The advertising market is still down but our performance in user-paid services has been relatively resilient in the economic downturn," said Ma Huateng, chairman and CEO of Tencent.

The number of active accounts for its QQ messenger, similar to Microsoft's MSN messenger service, rose 9.1 percent from the previous quarter to reach 410.8 million by the end of March.

The number of instant messenger users in China hit 220 million by the end of last year, a 31 percent rise from the previous year, data from the China Internet Network Information Center showed.

Tencent sees a weak second quarter for its Internet value-added services but a better online ad business.

(Shanghai Daily May 15, 2009)

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