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Twitter India FY18 profit drops 30% as revenue falls

Twitter India FY18 profit drops 30% as revenue falls
Photo Credit: Reuters

The India arm of Twitter Inc. reported lower revenue and profit for the year through March, reflecting the social network’s struggles in the South Asian nation.

Net profit of Twitter Communications India Pvt. Ltd slipped 30% to Rs 2.8 crore for 2017-18 from Rs 4 crore the year before, according to the filings made to the Registrar of Companies.

Operating revenue fell 13% to Rs 43.4 crore from Rs 50 crore. Income from providing marketing support services, the biggest contributor to revenue, slipped 11% to Rs 36.1 crore.

Total expenses decreased to Rs 38.66 crore from Rs 43.95 crore, dragged down by a steep 43% cut in staff costs. The reason for the sharp drop in employee expenses couldn’t be immediately ascertained. However, the company had laid off some employees towards the end of 2016 when it stopped global engineering work at its Bengaluru development centre.

The company has also been on the lookout for a country director to helm India operations after Taranjeet Singh left in September this year. At the time, the company had named Balaji Krish, global head of revenue strategy and operations, as its interim head in India.

Twitter’s global user growth and revenue have come mostly from expansion in the international markets. In its second-quarter earnings report for 2018, the San Francisco-based company revealed that Japan was its second-largest market.

In India, Twitter had close to 7.83 million monthly active users for October 2018, according to database firm Statista. The corresponding number for its largest market, the US, is 49.35 million.

Twitter’s tepid performance in India is in sharp contrast to the earnings reported by the local units of tech giant Google and professional networking site LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Technology Information Pvt. Ltd posted a 26% rise in profit after tax to Rs 37.67 crore for 2017-18. Total income jumped 20% to Rs 547.17 crore.

Google India Pvt. Ltd’s total income for 2017-18 rose 29% to Rs 9,337.7 crore while its net profit shot up 33% to Rs 407.2 crore.

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