Tencent Announces 2014 Fourth Quarter and Annual Results

SHENZHEN, China, March 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ –Tencent Holdings Limited ("Tencent" or the "Company") (SEHK 00700), a leading provider of comprehensive Internet services in China, today announced the unaudited consolidated results for the fourth quarter of 2014 ("4Q2014") and audited consolidated results for the year ended December 31, 2014 ("FY2014").

FY2014 Key Highlights:

  • Total revenues were RMB78,932 million (USD12,899 million[1]), an increase of 31% over the year ended December 31, 2013 ("YoY").
  • Operating profit was RMB30,542 million (USD4,991 million), an increase of 59% YoY. Operating margin increased to 39% from 32% last year.
  • Profit for the year was RMB23,888 (USD3,904 million), an increase of 53% YoY. Net margin increased to 30% from 26% last year.
  • Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the year was RMB23,810 million (USD3,891 million), an increase of 54% YoY.
  • Basic earnings per share2 were RMB2.579. Diluted earnings per share2 were RMB2.545.
  • The Board has recommended a final dividend of HKD0.36 per share for FY2014 (2013: HKD1.20 per share before the effect of the Share Subdivision, or HKD0.24 per share after the effect of the Share Subdivision), subject to approval of the shareholders.
  • On a non-GAAP basis3, excluding share-based compensation, deemed disposal gains, amortization of intangible assets and impairment provision:
    • Operating profit was RMB30,497 million (USD4,984 million), an increase of 49% YoY. Operating margin increased to 39% from 34% last year.
    • Profit for the year was RMB24,420 million (USD3,991 million), an increase of 42% YoY. Net margin increased to 31% from 28% last year.
    • Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the year was RMB24,224 million (USD3,959 million), an increase of 43% YoY.
    • Basic earnings per share was RMB2.624. Diluted earnings per share was RMB2.589.

[1] Figures stated in USD are based on USD1 to RMB6.1190

[2] EPS was stated after taking into account the effect of Share Subdivision. Comparative figures have been restated on the assumption that the Share Subdivision had been effective in prior periods.

[3] Since the first quarter of 2014, we have included gains/losses on disposals of investees and businesses in the non-GAAP adjustment. Comparative figures have been restated to conform to the new presentation.

4Q2014 Key Highlights:

  • Total revenues were RMB20,978 million (USD3,428 million), an increase of 24% over the fourth quarter of 2013 ("YoY").
  • Operating profit was RMB7,394 million (USD1,208 million), an increase of 56% YoY. Operating margin increased to 35% from 28% last year.
  • Profit for the period was RMB5,954 million (USD 973 million), an increase of 51% YoY. Net margin increased to 28% from 23% last year.
  • Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the quarter was RMB5,860 million (USD958 million), an increase of 50% YoY.
  • Basic earnings per share were RMB0.632. Diluted earnings per share were RMB0.625.
  • On a Non-GAAP basis, excluding share-based compensation, deemed disposal gains, amortization of intangible assets and impairment provision:
    • Operating profit was RMB8,068 million (USD1,319 million), an increase of 59% YoY. Operating margin increased to 38% from 30% last year.
    • Profit for the quarter was RMB6,841 million (USD1,118 million), an increase of 52% YoY. Net margin increased to 33% from 26% last year.
    • Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the quarter was RMB6,723 million (USD1,099 million), an increase of 51% YoY.
    • Basic earnings per share was RMB0.725. Diluted earnings per share was RMB0.717.

Mr. Ma Huateng, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, said, "During 2014, we made significant progress in a number of strategic initiatives that reinforced our leadership and enhanced our competitiveness. Our social platforms QQ and Weixin continued to innovate and grow. By leveraging our expertise in mobile Internet, we extended our leadership in games and online media, and made breakthroughs in emerging platforms such as online security, Android appstore, and mobile payments. We implemented our "Connection" strategy, in which we organically link our large user base with appropriate content and services, and we built strategic relationships with numerous best-of-breed vertical partners, through investment and business cooperation. We believe this strategy will enable us to create superior experiences for our users, and to participate in the growth of vertical opportunities, as the mobile Internet increasingly penetrates consumers’ daily lives."

4Q2014 Financial Review

Value Added Services ("VAS"). Revenues from our VAS business increased by 44% YoY to RMB17,137 million. Online game revenues increased by 41% to RMB11,964 million. The increase was primarily driven by significant growth in revenues from smart phone games integrated with Mobile QQ and Weixin, mainly reflecting our expanded user base, our enriched game portfolio and, to a lesser extent, the impact of the aforementioned adoption of gross revenue recognition. Revenues from PC client games also increased. Social networks revenues grew by 50% to RMB5,173 million. The increase was mainly driven by higher in-game item sales within mobile platforms, as well as by subscription revenues from our QQ Membership, Super VIP, Qzone and digital content subscription services. If gross revenue recognition for smart phone games is adopted for the fourth quarter of 2013, revenues from our VAS business, online games, and social networks would have increased by 42%, 39% and 48% respectively for the fourth quarter of 2014.

Online advertising. Revenues from our online advertising business increased by 75% YoY to RMB2,627 million. The increase primarily reflected revenue growth in video advertising as a result of more viewers and enhanced revenues from performance-based social advertising on mobile driven by Mobile Qzone and Weixin Official Accounts.

eCommerce transactions. Revenues from our eCommerce transactions business decreased by 87% YoY to RMB446 million. The decline mainly reflected a traffic shift to JD.com following our strategic transaction with JD.com in March 2014, and the repositioning of our Yixun business from principal to marketplace operations.

Other Key Financial Information for 4Q2014

Share-based compensation was RMB644 million, up 39% YoY.

EBITDA was RMB7,929 million, up 53% YoY. Adjusted EBITDA was RMB8,424 million, up 54% YoY.

Capital expenditure was RMB1,603 million, down 5% YoY.

Free cashflow was RMB9,181 million, up 76% YoY.

Net cash position totaled RMB22,758 million, down 37% YoY, due to strategic investments, partly offset by an increase in free cash flows generated during the year. Fair value of our stakes in listed investee companies (both associates and available-for-sale financial assets) totalled RMB60 billion as at December 31 2014.

Strategic Highlights

In 2014, we focused on our "Connection" strategy, linking our users with content, services and hardware to enhance their lives online and offline. Leveraging our core communications and social platforms, Weixin, and Mobile QQ, we made significant progress in fostering a healthy mobile ecosystem which provides our users with an expanding range of products and services, taking advantage of our strengths such as unified login, users’ social graphs, multi-platform marketing capabilities, infrastructure support, payment solutions and insights into user needs.

During the year, we moved forward in monetising mobile Internet use, initially through smart phone games and performance-based social advertising. We invested heavily in content for businesses such as our literature service, music service, and video service, contributing to substantial traffic growth. Our portfolio of mobile utilities, including mobile security, browser and application store, achieved healthy market share gains. For example, YingYongBao became one of China’s leading Android application stores. We significantly expanded the user bases of our mobile payment platforms and we explored Internet finance opportunities with the launch of our wealth management platform and the inception of our bank affiliate, WeBank.

To complement our internal initiatives, we entered into a strategic transaction with JD.com to reposition our eCommerce business, and we continue to enrich our O2O ecosystem by making strategic investments in and partnering with industry leaders, including 58.com, Dianping, Dididache and Koudai Gouwu.

  • From consumers’ perspective, we believe these and other partnerships enable our users to benefit from an expanding range of high quality products and services.
  • From partners’ perspective, we believe our user activity is starting to contribute materially to our partners’ long-term growth. For example, we believe we direct substantial volumes of traffic to JD.com and 58.com.
  • From our perspective, partnerships free up our internal resources to focus on the core strengths of our platforms, while enabling us to continue to benefit financially from the growth potential of the underlying industries via our significant equity stakes in partners.

In terms of balance sheet management, we established a USD5 billion global medium term note programme in April 2014 and subsequently issued various tranches of senior notes, with an aggregate principal amount of USD4.9 billion at the end of February 2015. We received a credit ratings upgrade from Moody’s on our issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings from Baa1 to A3 in March 2014.

Business Review and Outlook

Divisional and Product Highlights

  • Key platform statistics:
    • Monthly active user accounts ("MAU") of QQ was 815 million, an increase of 1% YoY.
    • Smart device MAU of QQ was 576 million, an increase of 33% YoY.
    • Peak concurrent user accounts ("PCU") of QQ was 217 million, an increase of 21% YoY.
    • Combined MAU of Weixin and WeChat were 500 million, an increase of 41% YoY.
    • MAU of Qzone was 654 million, an increase of 5% YoY.
    • Smart device MAU of Qzone was 540 million, an increase of 30% YoY.
    • Fee-based VAS registered subscriptions were 84 million, a decrease of 6% YoY.

Key Platforms

In 2014, QQ and Qzone benefited from significant growth in China’s mobile user base, and consolidated their leading positions in communications and social networking.

  • For QQ, smart device MAU increased by 33% YoY to 576 million at the end of 2014, while overall PCU increased by 21% YoY to 217 million. During the year, we enhanced user engagement on Mobile QQ as we improved its community and sharing functions. We also cultivated an ecosystem for Mobile QQ users by integrating with O2O and other new services, including those provided by our strategic partners, and introducing Mobile QQ Wallet.
  • For Qzone, smart device MAU increased by 30% YoY to 540 million at the end of 2014. User activity and stickiness improved during the year, benefiting from enhanced features and improved user experience.

Combined MAU of Weixin and WeChat reached 500 million at the end of 2014, representing YoY growth of 41%.

  • For Weixin, we strengthened user interaction and engagement with new features and services, and increased the adoption of Weixin Official Accounts.
  • For WeChat, we continued to promote user engagement in selected overseas markets, especially emerging Asian markets.

The aggregate number of user accounts that have integrated bank cards with Mobile QQ Wallet and Weixin Payment exceeded 100 million as we enriched payment scenarios and launched initiatives to build user awareness and habit, such as Red Packet gifting.

Our online media platforms extended their leadership in China. Tencent News leveraged enhanced content, improved user experience and plug-ins to Mobile QQ and Weixin to achieve significant user growth and became the leading mobile news platform in China. Tencent Video improved its market position with a strong uplift in user base and traffic, thanks to enriched content and improved user experience.

VAS

In social networks, our business benefited from significant growth in in-game item sales on our mobile platforms, and higher subscription revenues as we enhanced the mobile privileges and mobile user experience for QQ Membership, Super VIP and Qzone subscription service. We also added more premium content for our literature, music, and video subscription services.

In online games, we extended our leadership in the China market from PC to mobile.

  • For PC client games, revenue increased in 2014 as we benefited from growth in major titles and launch of new titles. League of Legends delivered a robust performance with significant growth in users and revenues.
  • For mobile games, we achieved strong revenue growth during 2014, becoming the largest publisher in China and one of the largest globally. Through the year, we diversified our portfolio of smart phone games from casual to mid-core and self-developed to third-party, enriching the choices available to users.

Looking ahead, we aim to diversify and capitalize on our strong title pipeline for PC and mobile games to penetrate into new genres and solidify our market leadership.

Online Advertising

In 2014, our online advertising business benefited from revenue growth across the brand display and performance display categories. During the year, video advertising registered a robust revenue increase due to viewer traffic growth, including traffic arising from the Voice of China 3 program and FIFA World Cup content. We made significant progress in mobile advertising on Mobile Qzone and Weixin Official Accounts. Looking forward, we aim to allocate more inventory toward performance advertising, including inventory on Weixin Moments and YingYongBao. We continue to invest aggressively in video content to further build our traffic, including our recent exclusive partnerships with the HBO and NBA.

eCommerce Transactions

Our eCommerce transaction business underwent a strategy transition subsequent to our strategic transaction with JD.com in March 2014. Shifting our traffic to JD.com led to a substantial reduction in our eCommerce revenues, costs, and losses. Looking forward, we believe the strategy transition enables us to benefit more efficiently from the growth of eCommerce in China via our significant equity stakes in best-in-class eCommerce companies such as JD.com, and via generating performance-based advertising revenues from eCommerce advertisers.

Outlook and strategies for 2015

During 2015, in addition to developing our ongoing businesses, we intend to cultivate an increasingly vibrant mobile ecosystem, bringing our own and our partners’ products and services to China consumers. Key aspects of cultivating this ecosystem include:

  • Working with existing and prospective strategic partners in various verticals to deliver better O2O and transactional services to users;
  • Developing our digital content businesses in partnership with key content providers, such as online literature authors, the HBO, NBA, Sony Music, Warner Music, and YG Entertainment;
  • Growing our performance-based advertising business by adding more mobile advertising inventory, enhancing advertiser tools, and expanding our advertiser base, all while balancing user experience; and
  • Promoting use of our payment services through enriched payment scenarios.

For other detailed disclosure, please refer to our website www.tencent.com/ir.

About Tencent

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Every day, hundreds of millions of people communicate, share experiences, consume information and seek entertainment through our integrated platforms. Tencent’s diversified services include QQ, Weixin/ WeChat for communications; Qzone for social networking; QQ Game Platform for online games; QQ.com and Tencent News for information and Tencent Video for video content.

Tencent was founded in Shenzhen in 1998 and went public on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2004. The Company is one of the constituent stocks of the Hang Seng Index. Tencent seeks to evolve with the Internet by investing in innovation, providing a hospitable environment for partners, and staying close to users.

For enquiries, please contact:

Investor:

Catherine Chan Tel: (86) 755 86013388 ext 88369/ (852) 3148 5100 Email: cchan#tencent.com
Angie Chang Tel: (86) 755 86013388 ext 73951/ (852) 3148 5100 Email: angiechang#tencent.com

Media:

Canny Lo Tel: (86) 755 86013388 ext 66630/ (852) 3148 5100 Email: cannylo#tencent.com
Limin Chen Tel: (86) 755 86013388 ext 56011 Email: liminchen#tencent.com

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement the consolidated results of the Company prepared in accordance with IFRS, certain non-GAAP financial measures, including non-GAAP operating profit, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP profit for the period, non-GAAP net margin and non-GAAP profit attributable to equity holders of the Company, have been presented in this press release. These unaudited non-GAAP financial measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, measures of the Company’s financial performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. In addition, these non-GAAP financial measures may be defined differently from similar terms used by other companies.

The Company’s management believes that the non-GAAP financial measures provide investors with useful supplementary information to assess the performance of the Company’s core operations by excluding certain non-cash items and certain impact of acquisitions.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to the business outlook, forecast business plans and growth strategies of the Company. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company and are stated herein on the basis of the outlook at the time of this press release. They are based on certain expectations, assumptions and premises, some of which are subjective or beyond our control. These forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect and may not be realized in future. Underlying the forward-looking statements is a large number of risks and uncertainties. Further information regarding these risks and uncertainties is included in our other public disclosure documents on our corporate website.

CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT

RMB in millions, unless specified

Unaudited

Audited

4Q2014

4Q2013

2014

2013

Revenues

20,978

16,970

78,932

60,437

VAS

17,137

11,932

63,310

44,985

Online advertising

2,627

1,497

8,308

5,034

eCommerce transactions

446

3,324

4,753

9,796

Others

768

217

2,561

622

Cost of revenues

(8,332)

(8,198)

(30,873)

(27,778)

Gross profit

12,646

8,772

48,059

32,659

Gross margin

60%

52%

61%

54%

Interest income

443

377

1,676

1,314

Other gains, net

343

405

2,759

904

Selling and marketing expenses

(2,063)

(2,033)

(7,797)

(5,695)

General and administrative expenses

(3,975)

(2,770)

(14,155)

(9,988)

Operating profit

7,394

4,751

30,542

19,194

Operating margin

35%

28%

39%

32%

Finance (costs)/ income, net

(273)

6

(1,182)

(84)

Share of (losses)/profits of associates and joint ventures

(275)

(18)

(347)

171

Profit before income tax

6,846

4,739

29,013

19,281

Income tax expense

(892)

(808)

(5,125)

(3,718)

Profit for the period

5,954

3,931

23,888

15,563

Net margin

28%

23%

30%

26%

Attributable to:

Equity holders of the Company

5,860

3,911

23,810

15,502

Non-controlling interests

94

20

78

61

Non-GAAP profit attributable to equity holders of the Company

6,723

4,440

24,224

16,975

Earnings per share (GAAP)

– basic (RMB)

0.632

0.425

2.579

1.693

– diluted (RMB)

0.625

0.418

2.545

1.660

Note:

Adoption of gross revenue recognition for smart phone games

Starting from the fourth quarter of 2014, we recognise revenues from smart phone games on a gross basis, mainly to reflect changes in our co-operation models that resulted in us becoming the principal, rather than agent, for certain licensed games we publish on an exclusive basis. Correspondingly, we recorded revenue sharing with third-party developers and related channel costs in costs of revenues, instead of treating them as contra-revenue items. For the fourth quarter of 2014, the change increased our revenues from smart phone games integrated with Mobile QQ and Weixin by RMB907 million, and related cost of revenues by the same amount. The change did not impact the Group’s profits. We believe the change brings us closer into line with general industry practice.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

RMB in millions, unless specified

Unaudited

Audited

4Q2014

4Q2013

2014

2013

Profit for the period

5,954

3,931

23,888

15,563

Other comprehensive income, net of tax:

Items that may be subsequently reclassified to profit or loss

Share of other comprehensive income of associates

38

48

81

48

Net (losses)/gains from changes in fair value of available-for-sale financial assets

(1,439)

830

(1,705)

2,825

Currency translation differences

(280)

(50)

(289)

(60)

Total comprehensive income for the period

4,273

4,759

21,975

18,376

Attributable to:

Equity holders of the Company

4,183

4,746

21,891

18,327

Non-controlling interests

90

13

84

49

OTHER FINANCIAL INFORMATION

RMB in millions, unless specified

Unaudited

Audited

4Q2014

4Q2013

2014

2013

EBITDA (a)

7,929

5,184

30,908

20,566

Adjusted EBITDA (a)

8,424

5,467

32,710

21,734

Adjusted EBITDA margin (b)

40%

32%

41%

36%

Interest expense

264

105

866

394

Net cash (c)

22,758

36,218

22,758

36,218

Capital expenditures (d)

1,603

1,679

4,718

5,799

Note:

(a) EBITDA consists of operating profit less interest income and other (gains)/losses, net, and plus depreciation of fixed assets and investment properties and amortisation of intangible assets. Adjusted EBITDA consists of EBITDA plus equity-settled share-based compensation expenses.

(b) Adjusted EBITDA margin is calculated by dividing Adjusted EBITDA by revenues.

(c) Net cash represents period end balance and is calculated as cash and cash equivalents, term deposits, minus borrowings and notes payable.

(d) Capital expenditures consist of additions (excluding business combinations) to fixed assets, construction in progress, land use rights and intangible assets (excluding game and other content licences).

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

In RMB millions (unless otherwise stated)

Audited

As at 31 December

2014

2013

ASSETS

Non-current assets

Fixed assets

7,918

8,693

Construction in progress

3,830

2,041

Investment properties

268

Land use rights

751

871

Intangible assets

9,304

4,103

Investments in associates

51,131

10,867

Investments in redeemable preference shares of associates

2,941

1,119

Investments in joint ventures

63

9

Deferred income tax assets

322

431

Available-for-sale financial assets

13,277

12,515

Prepayments, deposits and other assets

1,209

1,480

Term deposits

4,831

11,420

95,845

53,549

Current assets

Inventories

244

1,384

Accounts receivable

4,588

2,955

Prepayments, deposits and other assets

7,804

5,365

Term deposits

10,798

19,623

Restricted cash

9,174

4,131

Cash and cash equivalents

42,713

20,228

75,321

53,686

Total assets

171,166

107,235

EQUITY

Equity attributable to the Company’s equity holders of
the Company

Share capital

Share premium

5,131

2,846

Shares held for share award schemes

(1,309)

(871)

Other reserves

2,129

3,746

Retained earnings

74,062

52,224

80,013

57,945

Non-controlling interests

2,111

518

Total equity

82,124

58,463

LIABILITIES

Non-current liabilities

Borrowings

5,507

3,323

Notes payable

25,028

9,141

Long-term payables

2,052

1,600

Deferred income tax liabilities

2,942

1,441

Deferred revenue

3,478

39,007

15,505

Current liabilities

Accounts payable

8,683

6,680

Other payables and accruals

19,123

10,246

Borrowings

3,215

2,589

Notes payable

1,834

Current income tax liabilities

461

1,318

Other tax liabilities

566

593

Deferred revenue

16,153

11,841

50,035

33,267

Total liabilities

89,042

48,772

Total equity and liabilities

171,166

107,235

Net current assets

25,286

20,419

Total assets less current liabilities

121,131

73,968


RECONCILIATIONS OF IFRS TO NON-GAAP RESULTS

As

reported

Adjustments

RMB in millions, unless specified

Equity-settled

share-based compensation

Cash-settled

share-based

compensation (a)

(Gains)/Losses

on deemed disposal (b)

Amortisation of

intangible

assets (c)

Impairment provision (d)

Special

dividend

Income (e)

Non-GAAP


Year
ended 31 December 2014

Operating profit

30,542

1,082

695

(5,111)

59

2,510

30,497

Profit for the year

23,888

1,082

695

(5,038)

563

2,510

24,420

Profit attributable to equity holders

23,810

1,770

637

(5,054)

555

2,506

24,224

Operating margin

39%

39%

Net margin

30%

31%


Year
ended 31 December 2013

Operating profit

19,194

1,168

618

(272)

139

87

(438)

20,496

Profit for the year

15,563

1,168

618

(88)

240

87

(438)

17,150

Profit attributable to equity holders

15,502

1,155

547

(88)

210

87

(438)

16,975

Operating margin

32%

34%

Net margin

26%

28%


Unaudited three months ended 31 December 2014

Operating profit

7,394

495

149

(1,153)

13

1,170

8,068

Profit for the period

5,954

495

149

(1,155)

228

1,170

6,841

Profit attributable to equity holders

5,860

488

136

(1,158)

227

1,170

6,723

Operating margin

35%

38%

Net margin

28%

33%


Unaudited three months ended 30 September 2014

Operating profit

7,515

546

152

(159)

15

195

8,264

Profit for the period

5,676

546

152

(162)

76

195

6,483

Profit attributable to equity holders

5,657

536

137

(162)

74

191

6,433

Operating margin

38%

42%

Net margin

29%

33%


Unaudited three months ended 31 December 2013

Operating profit

4,751

283

180

(242)

24

87

5,083

Profit for the period

3,931

283

180

(58)

66

87

4,489

Profit attributable to equity holders

3,911

278

160

(58)

62

87

4,440

Operating margin

28%

30%

Net margin

23%

26%

Note:

(a) Including put options granted to employees of investees companies on their shares and shares to be issued under investee companies’ share-based incentive plans which can be acquired by the Group, and other incentives
(b) (Gains)/ Losses, net on deemed disposal of investee companies and disposals of investee companies and businesses
(c) Amortisation of intangible assets resulting from acquisitions, net of related deferred tax
(d) Impairment provision for associates, available-for-sale financial assets and intangible assets arising from acquisitions
(e) Special dividend income from Mail.ru

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