TENCENT ANNOUNCES 2022 FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

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Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent” or the “Company”, 00700.HK), a leading provider of Internet value added services in China, today announced the unaudited consolidated results for the first quarter (“1Q2022”) ended March 31, 2022.

1Q2022 Key Highlights

Revenues: stable YoY, non-IFRS[1] profit attributable to equity holders of the Company: 23% YoY

Total revenues were RMB135.5 billion (USD21.3 billion[2]), stable over the first quarter of 2021 (“YoY”).

  • On a non-IFRS basiswhich is intended to reflect core earnings by excluding certain one-time and/or non-cash items:
    –  Operating profit was RMB36.5 billion (USD5.8 billion), a decrease of 15% YoY. Operating margin decreased to 27% from 32% last year.
    –  Profit for the period was RMB26.3 billion (USD4.1 billion), a decrease of 24% YoY. Net margin decreased to 19% from 26% last year.
    –  Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the quarter was RMB25.5 billion (USD4.0 billion), a decrease of 23% YoY.
    –  Basic earnings per share were RMB2.678Diluted earnings per share were RMB2.620.
  • On an IFRS basis:
    –  Operating profit was RMB37.2 billion (USD5.9 billion), a decrease of 34% YoY. Operating margin decreased to 27% from 42% last year.
    –  Profit for the period was RMB23.7 billion (USD3.7 billion), a decrease of 52% YoY. Net margin decreased to 18% from 36% last year. 
    –  Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the quarter was RMB23.4 billion (USD3.7 billion), a decrease of 51% YoY.
    –  Basic earnings per share were RMB2.455. Diluted earnings per share were RMB2.404.
  • Total cash were RMB304.1 billion (USD47.9 billion) at the end of the period.

Mr. Ma Huateng, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, said, “During the challenging first quarter of 2022, we implemented cost control initiatives and rationalised certain non-core businesses, which would enable us to achieve a more optimised cost structure going forward. We utilised tools such as Mini Programs, Tencent Meeting, and WeCom to help enterprises and consumers weather the resurgence of COVID-19 in China, and continued investing in strategic growth areas including enterprise software, Video Accounts and international games. Looking forward, we will sharpen our focus and sustain our innovation through challenges and cycles, and continue to create value for our users, partners, and society.”

[1] Non-IFRS adjustments exclude share-based compensation, M&A related impact such as net (gains)/losses from investee
companies, amortisation of intangible assets and impairment provisions/(reversals), SSV & CPP, income tax effects and others

[2] Figures stated in USD are based on USD1 to RMB6.3482

1Q2022 Financial Review

Revenues from VAS[3] were RMB72.7 billion for the first quarter of 2022, broadly stable compared to the first quarter of 2021. Domestic Games revenues decreased by 1% to RMB33.0 billion, as direct and indirect effects of the minor protection measures impacted active user and paying user counts. During the quarter, the incremental revenues generated by recently launched games, such as League of Legends: Wild Rift and Fight of The Golden Spatula, were largely offset by the decrease in revenues from games such as Moonlight Blade Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile. International Games revenues grew by 4% to RMB10.6 billion, reflecting an increase in revenues from games including VALORANT and Clash of Clans, partly offset by a decrease in revenues from PUBG Mobile as user spending normalised post-COVID. Social Networks revenues grew by 1% to RMB29.1 billion, reflecting increased revenue from our Video Accounts live streaming service, largely offset by decreased revenues from music- and games-related live streaming services.

Revenues from Online Advertising decreased by 18% to RMB18.0 billion for the first quarter of 2022 on a year-on-year basis, reflecting weak demand from advertiser categories including education, Internet services and eCommerce, plus regulatory changes impacting the online advertising industry itself, partly offset by solid demand from the FMCG category, as well as our consolidation of Sogou’s advertising revenue. Social and Others Advertising revenues decreased by 15% to RMB15.7 billion, primarily due to sharply lower advertising revenues from our mobile advertising network, which was particularly affected by the regulatory changes, partly offset by greater advertising revenues from Official Accounts, driven by the popularity of notification feeds ads. Media Advertising revenues decreased by 30% to RMB2.3 billion, reflecting lower advertising revenues from our media platforms including Tencent News and Tencent Video, partly offset by advertising revenue contribution from the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Revenues from FinTech and Business Services increased by 10% to RMB42.8 billion for the first quarter of 2022 on a year-on-year basis. FinTech Services year-on-year revenue growth moderated as COVID-19 resurgence in March 2022 impacted commercial payment volume. Business Services revenue recorded a mild year-on-year decrease, as we repositioned our IaaS service from revenue scale-up at all costs to self-sustained growth, and proactively reduced loss-making contracts.

Other Key Financial Information for 1Q2022

EBITDA was RMB38.3 billion, down 22% YoY. Adjusted EBITDA was RMB46.1 billion, down 13% YoY.
Capital expenditures were RMB7.0 billion, down 10% YoY.
Free cash flow was RMB15.2 billion, down 54% YoY.

As at March 31, 2022, net debt position totalled RMB11.0 billion. Fair value of our shareholdings[4] in listed investee companies (excluding subsidiaries) totalled RMB606.0 billion (USD95.5 billion). During the first quarter, the Company repurchased approximately 8.9 million shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for an aggregate consideration of approximately RMB3.0 billion (USD474 million).

[3] From the third quarter of 2021, we disclose revenues from Domestic Games and International Games as new sub-segments
under VAS, reflecting the increasing scale of our International Games business. Mobile games VAS revenues (including mobile
games revenues attributable to our Social Networks business) decreased by 3% year-on-year to RMB40.3 billion, while PC client
games revenues grew by 2% year-on-year to RMB12.1 billion for the first quarter of 2022.

[4] Including those held via special purpose vehicles, on an attributable basis

Operating Metrics

As at

31 March

2022

As at

31 March

2021

Year-

on-year

change

As at

31 December

2021

Quarter-on-
quarter

change

(in millions, unless specified)

Combined MAU of
       
Weixin and WeChat

1,288.3

1,241.6

3.8%

1,268.2

1.6%

Mobile device MAU of QQ

563.8

606.4

-7.0%

552.1

2.1%

Fee-based VAS registered
       
subscriptions

239.1

225.7

5.9%

236.3

1.2%

Business Review and Outlook

Communication and Social

Within Weixin, Video Accounts continued to gain user traction with significant year-on-year growth in video views and time spent, bolstered by expansion in news, knowledge-based and entertainment content, as well as enhanced recommendation technologies. Mini Programs exceeded 500 million DAU and sustained rapid growth in gross merchandise value with deepened penetration in retail, dining and municipal services.

For QQ, we are enriching features for young users to better create, share and connect with each other. We provide avatar tools for users to create short videos featuring their customised Super QQ Show characters. Through Status update, users can choose to let their contacts see what videos or music they are consuming, so that their friends can access and stream the same content within QQ via Mini Programs.

Digital Content

Our fee-based VAS subscriptions increased 6% year-on-year to 239 million. We extended our market leadership in the long-form video streaming market with 124 million subscribers, leveraging IP adaptations of successful comics and novels. For music, subscription counts increased to 80 million, driven by high quality content as well as increased consumer willingness to subscribe for music services.

Domestic Games

Among our most popular and longer-established games, Honour of Kings, the top-ranked mobile game by DAU in China[5], released fewer commercially successful items during the Chinese New Year holiday period than in prior years, but its adult user base remained engaged. With the release of popular items inspired by the Chinese floral festival, Honour of Kings resumed year-on-year growth in its grossing receipts in March 2022. Peacekeeper Elite, the second-most popular mobile game by DAU in China[5], released its third anniversary update in April 2022, enhancing user engagement. We are also successfully expanding our presence in other key genres of games. Fight of The Golden Spatula, an auto battler genre game we released in August 2021, added new champions and game mechanics, and was the sixth most popular mobile game by DAU in China[5]. Return to Empire, a real-time strategy mobile game we launched in March 2022, became China’s second most successful game in its genre by grossing receipts in April 2022[6].

[5] Source: QuestMobile, 1Q2022

[6] Source: data.ai

International Games

We believe that the mobile game industry outside China generally underwent a post COVID-19 normalisation downward in terms of user activities and spending in early 2022. PUBG Mobile experienced this pattern with a year-on-year revenue decline in the first quarter of 2022. However, our PC game VALORANT continued its robust performance with a growing user base and higher paying propensity. We also released titles in other key genres which generated favorable critical response. For example, Dune: Spice Wars, a real-time strategy PC game based on the popular sci-fi IP Dune and published by our subsidiary Funcom, entered into Early Access in April 2022. We and Electronic Arts have jointly developed Apex Legends Mobile, a hero shooter battle royale game based on one of the most successful new PC/console IPs in recent years, which was launched in May 2022.

Online Advertising

For 2022 second quarter-to-date, overall advertising sentiment remained weak as advertisers in categories such as FMCG, eCommerce and travel have reduced their spending significantly. Amid the difficult market environment, we continue to invest in our advertising system and are upgrading our machine learning infrastructure to process data more efficiently. The upgrade should enable us to deliver better targeting and conversion rates for advertisers

FinTech

Commercial payment activities have been weak since mid March 2022, due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in several cities in China, which negatively affected payment volume growth in categories such as transportation, dining services and apparel.

Cloud and Other Business Services

As we re-focused on healthy growth for Business Services, we scaled back loss-making activities, and concentrated resources on our PaaS solutions in areas such as video cloud and cybersecurity. Taking advantage of our accumulated experience in providing in-house interactive entertainment and video chat services, and our low-latency network infrastructure, we are increasingly migrating our clients from basic CDN (Content Delivery Network) services to sophisticated video-on-demand, live streaming and real-time communication solutions. According to Gartner, Tencent ranked first in China by CPaaS (Communication PaaS) revenues. In cybersecurity, we expanded our client base across network, endpoint and business operation security solutions, fulfilling enterprises’ growing needs for protection against cyber-attacks, and for cybersecurity compliance.