* Q1 net profit 4 bln yuan vs consensus 3.89 bln yuan
* Tencent has been investing to diversify revenue sources
May 15 Tencent Holdings more than
tripled the number of active users for its mobile chat
application in the first quarter, a boon to China's largest
online gaming and social networking firm as it tries to
diversify its revenue stream.
Tencent, which is hoping to monetize its Weixin, or WeChat,
app, said on Wednesday active user numbers soared 228 percent to
194 million in the quarter that ended March 31. Weixin is
similar to WhatsApp, Line or KakaoTalk, apps that allow users to
swap messages, stickers, voice messages over a data connection.
Tencent has invested heavily in the app and e-commerce to
stimulate revenue growth, as other Chinese Internet companies
also try to broaden their business. In May, Alibaba Group bought
stakes in Sina Corp's social-networking website Weibo
and in navigation and maps firm AutoNavi.
Strong sales of online advertising and gaming helped Tencent
report a 37 percent rise in first-quarter profit to 4.0 billion
yuan ($645 million), in line with analysts' estimates.
Major online gaming titles such as "League of Legends" and
the newly released "Legend of Yulong" helped increase revenues
by 40.4 percent to 13.5 billion yuan in the quarter, beating
analysts' estimates of 12.9 billion yuan.
Revenue from non-mobile online games was up 34 percent
year-on-year to 7.1 billion yuan while sales from e-commerce
transactions rose 14 percent from the previous quarter to 1.9
Tencent shares closed up 1.7 percent before the results were
announced, beating a 0.5 percent rise for the Hang Seng Index
. The shares are up about 10 percent since the start of
the year, outperforming a mostly flat Hang Seng Index.
The company is more than 30 percent owned by South African
media group Naspers Ltd.