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Facebook India posts 40% rise in net profit, revenue up 52%

Facebook India posts 40% rise in net profit, revenue up 52%
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Facebook India recorded a 40% jump in its net profit to Rs 57 crore for the financial year 2017-18, from Rs 40.7 crore a year earlier, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies.

Facebook India Online Services Pvt. Ltd, which also owns messaging platform WhatsApp and photo-sharing social network Instagram, recorded a 52% jump in revenue to Rs 521 crore for the year ended March 2018, from Rs 341.8 crore the previous year, said the filings. Last year, Facebook’s revenues in India had doubled. This means that growth has slowed down for the year ended March 2018. In fact, even globally, Facebook’s revenue and profit had slowed down for 2017-18. Facebook was hit by a massive data breach allegation in March 2018.  

Facebook India increased its legal spend by 85% for the year ended March 2018 to Rs 78 crore, from Rs 43 crore the previous year. Costs for advertising and promotion went up 122% at Rs 94 crore.

The figures may not wholly reflect Facebook’s earnings from India. “The figures may not accurately reflect the revenues of Facebook from India on account of online advertising,” Amit Maheshwari, partner, Ashok Maheshwary and Associates LLP, told The Economic Times.

Facebook has had a tough going, with international regulators probing the platform for posting fake news and breach of user data. Facebook-backed WhatsApp has also found it difficult to go ahead with its business plans for India, including launch of its payments platform WhatsApp Pay.

The Union government has been pushing companies like Facebook and Google to store Indian users’ data locally.

In October, Google India Pvt. Ltd, the tech giant’s local unit, reported a 29% increase in total income for the financial year 2017-18 as it looked to expand its online search and advertisement business in local languages in the country.

Total income for the year through March rose to Rs 9,337.7 crore from Rs 7,239.5 crore for 2016-17, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies. The pace of growth in 2017-18 was faster than the 22% rise the year before. In fact, Google has tripled its revenue since 2013-14, according to VCCEdge, the data research arm of VCCircle.

Net profit shot up 33% to Rs 407.2 crore from Rs 306.6 crore. Total expenditure increased 29% to Rs 8,710.9 crore from Rs 6,760.4 crore. Profit and costs have also tripled since 2013-14.

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