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 ("1Q2021") ended March 31, 2021.
1Q2021 Key Highlights
Revenues: +25% YoY, non-IFRS profit attributable to equity holders of the Company: +22% YoY
-- Total revenues were RMB135.3 billion (USD20.6 billion), an increase of 25% over the first quarter of 2020 ("YoY").
-- On a non-IFRS basis, which is intended to reflect core earnings by excluding certain one-time and/or non-cash items:
-- Operating profit was RMB42.8 billion (USD6.5 billion), an increase of 20% YoY. Operating margin decreased to 32% from 33% last year.
-- Profit for the period was RMB34.5 billion (USD5.3 billion), an increase of 23% YoY. Net margin remained stable at 26%.
-- Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the quarter was RMB33.1 billion (USD5.0 billion), an increase of 22% YoY.
-- Basic earnings per share were RMB3.481. Diluted earnings per share were RMB3.415.
-- On an IFRS basis:
-- Operating profit was RMB56.3 billion (USD8.6 billion), an increase of 51% YoY. Operating margin increased to 42% from 34% last year.
-- Profit for the period was RMB49.0 billion (USD7.5 billion), an increase of 67% YoY. Net margin increased to 36% from 27% last year.
-- Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the quarter was RMB47.8 billion (USD7.3 billion), an increase of 65% YoY.
-- Basic earnings per share were RMB5.020. Diluted earnings per share were RMB4.917.
-- Total cash were RMB258.8 billion (USD39.4 billion) at the end of the quarter.
 Non-IFRS adjustments (formerly referred as non-GAAP) excludes share-based compensation, M&A related impact such as net (gains)/losses from investee companies, amortisation of intangible assets and impairment provision/(reversals), as well as income tax effects.  Figures stated in USD are based on USD1 to RMB6.5713
Mr. Ma Huateng, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, said, "During the first quarter, we delivered solid growth across our businesses while continuing to enhance our products and services. As we look into the future, we see expanding opportunities in the various verticals in which we operate, enabled by technology innovation and increasing acceptance of digital solutions among users and businesses. As a result, we are stepping up our investment in areas including business services and enterprise software, high-production-value games, and short-form video. In addition, as a technology company serving a broad base of users and enterprises, we recognise our social responsibility and the opportunities to create significant social value through innovations. We believe that our recent strategic upgrade and establishment of a Sustainable Social Value Organisation will allow us to make an even more positive impact to the society, and usher in a new phase of development for Tencent."
1Q2021 Financial Review
Revenues from VAS increased by 16% to RMB72.4 billion for the first quarter of 2021 on a year-on-year basis. Games revenues grew by 17% to RMB43.6 billion, primarily due to revenue growth from our mobile games worldwide, including Honour of Kings, PUBG Mobile, and Peacekeeper Elite, as well as recently launched titles such as Moonlight Blade Mobile. Total mobile games revenues (including mobile games revenues attributable to our social networks business) were RMB41.5 billion and PC client games revenues were RMB11.9 billion for the first quarter of 2021. Social networks revenues increased by 15% to RMB28.8 billion, due to moderate growth from digital content subscriptions, as well as from in-game virtual item sales.
Revenues from Online Advertising increased by 23% to RMB21.8 billion for the first quarter of 2021 on a year-on-year basis, reflecting higher demand from categories such as eCommerce platforms, education and fast-moving consumer goods, as well as consolidation of Bitauto's advertising revenue. Social and others advertising revenues grew by 27% to RMB18.5 billion as we responded to increased advertiser demand for Weixin Moments and our mobile advertising network by offering more inventories. Media advertising revenues increased by 7% to RMB3.3 billion mainly due to higher advertising revenues from our music streaming apps.
Revenues from FinTech and Business Services increased by 47% to RMB39 billion for the first quarter of 2021 on a year-on-year basis. FinTech Services revenue growth partially reflected the stay-at-home impact in the first quarter of 2020 as well as a secular trend toward mobile payment usage. Business Services revenues increased year-on-year at a faster rate than in prior quarter, mainly due to resumed project deployment and rising demand from enterprise software and online video customers, as well as consolidation of Bitauto's Business Services revenue since the fourth quarter of 2020.
Other Key Financial Information for 1Q2021
EBITDA was RMB49.4 billion, up 17% YoY. Adjusted EBITDA was RMB52.9 billion, up 17% YoY.
Capital expenditures were RMB7.7 billion, up 26% YoY.
Free cash flow was RMB33.2 billion, down 15% YoY.
As at March 31, 2021, net cash position totalled RMB5.6 billion. Fair value of our stakes in listed investee companies (excluding subsidiaries) totalled RMB1,362.3 billion, compared to RMB1,204.9 billion as of December 31, 2020, and RMB410.3 billion as of March 31, 2020.
As at As at Year- As at Quarter-on- 31 March 31 March on-year 31 December quarter 2021 2020 change 2020 change (in millions, unless specified) Combined MAU of Weixin and 1,241.6 1,202.5 3.3% 1,225.0 1.4% WeChat Mobile device MAU of QQ 606.4 693.5 -12.6% 594.9 1.9% Fee-based VAS registered 225.7 197.4 14.3% 219.5 2.8% subscriptions
Business Review and Outlook
We believe we sustained healthy operational and financial results during a period when the China Internet industry as a whole is undergoing a heavy investment phase. Our listed investment portfolio experienced meaningful value appreciation, while contributing mixed results to our associate income, with certain investees delivering wider associate losses due to their investments in new initiatives such as community group buying activities. Here are some highlights of our key products and business lines for the quarter:
Weixin Video Accounts continued to gain user and content creator traction as we build the content ecosystem. We have increased our efforts in attracting and incubating content creators by providing customised onboarding services and ongoing operational support. Mini Programs' ecosystem is thriving with deeper penetration among small and medium-sized businesses. Our low-code development platform enables smaller businesses to develop Mini Programs more cost-effectively. We provided more tools to assist system integrators and the number of active Mini Programs they served more than tripled year-on-year.
QQ and Digital Content
We are leveraging technology to better integrate social and content consumption experiences at QQ, such as seamless experiences between instant messaging and games. Users can team up with QQ friends to start a multi-player game battle with one click. For in-game friends who are not on QQ, users can communicate with them synchronously via Game Center. They can also stay up-to-date with game events via QQ Mini Programs. Looking forward, QQ's new leadership team will seek to upgrade the service's technology, operations and content, and better serve the social and entertainment needs of young users.
Our fee-based VAS subscriptions grew 14% year-on-year to 226 million. Video subscriptions increased 12% year-on-year to 125 million, benefitting from adaptation of certain IPs, such as The Land of Warriors, into animated and live action drama series. Our self-commissioned variety shows such as Chuang 2021 and Roast Season 5 attained popularity. Music subscriptions increased 43% year-on-year to 61 million, primarily driven by better content, effective marketing campaigns and an improved retention rate.
We are merging the Tencent Video and WeiShi teams to upgrade their algorithmic recommendations, bring integrated viewing experiences to users, and enrich short video clips adapted from our long form video library. We have announced leadership changes in Tencent Music Entertainment Group, aiming to enhance the co-operation and synergies between our digital content services, as well as with our social communities.
Our aggregate user engagement and user spending increased year-on-year despite the high base due to stay-at-home impact in the first quarter of 2020. We released Honour of Kings' biggest-ever update in January to improve its graphics and game experiences, and then launched appealing marketing campaigns with top-tier skins during the Chinese New Year, which drove the game's DAU and paying users to record highs in February. We reduced the application file size of PUBG Mobile and enhanced our local market operational capabilities, boosting PUBG Mobile's DAU in EMEA countries. League of Legends benefitted significantly from the release of bigger and better Lunar Revel content across PC and mobile devices, as well as across its core game mode and Teamfight Tactics.
We are also cultivating emerging genres beyond these large audience games. For example, our new titles Komori Life and The Walnut Diary ranked among China's top ten life simulation mobile games by DAU in April 2021. Our games pipeline covers a wide spectrum of genres, including Action, MOBA and Survival. For China, many of the new games are adapted from popular existing game and literature IPs. Internationally, we expect our substantial prior investments in best-in-class PC, console and mobile studios to begin contributing a range of genre-innovating games in the quarters to come.
We enhanced the transaction capabilities of our advertising properties via linkage with Weixin Mini Programs and upgraded marketing solutions for key industries including games, retail and automobile-related verticals, delivering higher sales conversion and ROIs for advertisers. Advertisers' adoption of Mini Programs as landing pages increased substantially, demonstrating growing recognition of Weixin as a transaction-generating environment. Our mobile advertising network continued to benefit from increased video advertising inventories primarily within games, online reading and tool apps. For the rest of 2021, industry uncertainties include potential regulatory headwinds for K-12 education and potential delays to the release schedule of our video content.
Our commercial payments volume benefitted from rising adoption of mobile payment in China due to consumption growth and an expanding digital economy. As people travelled less and consumed more during the Chinese New Year holiday, offline payment transactions increased sequentially, particularly in retail and dining services.
Weixin Pay has been assisting small and medium-sized merchants in China to grow and digitalise their businesses. We are committing significant subsidies, resources and services to small and medium-sized merchants, to further reduce their operating costs and enhance their operational efficiency.
Cloud and Other Business Services
Leveraging our strengths in security, communication and CRM solutions, we expanded our PaaS and SaaS businesses during the quarter. To better position ourselves for the opportunities in China's nascent SaaS market, we have established our SaaS ecosystem program to nurture the growth of SaaS providers and facilitate digitalisation of enterprise clients. We launched our Enterprise App Connector with unified login accounts and data flow across different SaaS products, allowing SaaS providers to develop and deliver their products more efficiently, while facilitating better coordination of multiple SaaS solutions by enterprise clients.
Investments for the Future
We believe that we are still in the early stage of the global digital transformation. The advance of technology will present ample opportunities for our Consumer Internet and Industrial Internet activities. Consequently, we are proactively increasing our rate of investment in new opportunities by investing a portion of our incremental profits for 2021, which we believe will deliver high returns in the long run. Incremental investments will include the following areas - business services, games and short-form video content.
-- Business Services: We will make further investments in areas such as headcount and infrastructure to support the rapid growth of our business. We will strengthen our productivity SaaS products and security software as well as partnerships with and investments in SaaS providers and Independent Software Vendors, supporting our clients' digital needs. Through enhancing our upsell and cross-sell capabilities in key verticals such as healthcare, retail, education and transportation, we will provide smart solutions for enterprises and consumer-facing products for users.
-- Games: We are stepping up our investments in game development, and in particular focusing on large-scale and high-production-value games that can appeal to users globally. We are also investing further in new types of games serving more targeted audiences, building up IP franchises and developing them across media, and investing in advanced technologies for next generation game experiences such as cloud games.
-- Short-Form Video Content: We are now incubating the content ecosystem for Video Accounts which connect users with real-life content and bridge high-quality content creators with their customers. We will provide production and monetisation tools to content creators, optimise social-driven recommendation, enrich knowledge-based content as well as add servers and bandwidth to support Video Accounts' solid growth. We are strengthening the synergies between our long-form and short-form video services. Through the merger of Tencent Video and WeiShi, we will empower long-form video leveraging our short-form capabilities. We will escalate self-commissioned production to further expand our IP content library, and provide video clips that can be adapted by our creator network.
As a technology company serving a broad base of users and enterprises, we recognise our social responsibility and the opportunities for us to create significant social value through innovations. Consequently, we integrated our Corporate Social Responsibility and charitable activities into a new Sustainable Social Value Organisation. We will invest an initial capital of RMB 50 billion, to be funded by our investment gains, in areas including basic science, education innovation, rural revitalisation, carbon neutrality, food/energy/water provision, assisting with public emergencies, technology for senior citizens and public welfare. This upgrade aims to implement our mission of Tech for Good and marks a new phase of development for the Company.
For other detailed disclosure, please refer to our website https://www.tencent.com/en-us/investors.html, or follow us via Weixin Official Account (Weixin ID: Tencent_IR.
Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users.
Our communication and social services, Weixin and QQ, connect users with each other and with digital content and services, both online and offline, making their lives more convenient. Our targeted advertising service helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Our FinTech and business services support our partners' business growth and assist their digital upgrade.
Tencent invests heavily in talent and technological innovation, actively promoting the development of the Internet industry. Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. Shares of Tencent (00700.HK) are listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.
Non-IFRS Financial Measures
To supplement the consolidated results of the Group prepared in accordance with IFRS, certain additional non-IFRS financial measures (in terms of operating profit, operating margin, profit for the period, net margin, profit attributable to equity holders of the Company, basic EPS and diluted EPS), have been presented in this press release. These unaudited non-IFRS financial measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, measures of the Group's financial performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. In addition, these non-IFRS financial measures may be defined differently from similar terms used by other companies.
The Company's management believes that the non-IFRS financial measures provide investors with useful supplementary information to assess the performance of the Group's core operations by excluding certain non-cash items and certain impact of M&A transactions. In addition, non-IFRS adjustments include relevant non-IFRS adjustments for the Group's major associates based on available published financials of the relevant major associates, or estimates made by the Company's management based on available information, certain expectations, assumptions and premises.
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 realised in future. Underlying the forward-looking statements is a lot 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 1Q2021 1Q2020 Revenues 135,303 108,065 VAS 72,443 62,429 Online Advertising 21,820 17,713 FinTech and Business Services 39,028 26,475 Others 2,012 1,448 Cost of revenues (72,668) (55,271) Gross profit 62,635 52,794 Gross margin 46% 49% Interest income 1,614 1,636 Other gains, net 19,521 4,037 Selling and marketing expenses (8,530) (7,049) General and administrative expenses (18,967) (14,158) Operating profit 56,273 37,260 Operating margin 42% 34% Finance costs, net (1,367) (1,684) Share of profit/(loss) of associates and joint ventures, net 1,348 (281) Profit before income tax 56,254 35,295 Income tax expense (7,246) (5,892) Profit for the period 49,008 29,403 Net margin 36% 27% Attributable to: Equity holders of the Company 47,767 28,896 Non-controlling interests 1,241 507 Non-IFRS profit 33,118 27,079 attributable to equity holders of the Company Earnings per share for profit attributable to equity holders of the Company (in RMB per share) - basic 5.020 3.049 - diluted 4.917 2.999
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME RMB in millions, unless specified Unaudited 1Q2021 1Q2020 Profit for the period 49,008 29,403 Other comprehensive income, net of tax: Items that may be subsequently reclassified to profit or loss Share of other comprehensive income/(loss) of associates and joint 288 (30) ventures Transfer of share of other comprehensive income to profit or loss upon (3) - disposal and deemed disposal of associates and joint ventures Currency translation differences (5,908) 1,315 Other fair value gains/(losses) 1,163 (1,357) Items that will not be subsequently reclassified to profit or loss Share of other comprehensive income of associates and joint ventures 381 - Net gains/(losses) from changes in fair value of financial assets at fair 18,483 (7,850) value through other comprehensive income Currency translation differences 207 - Other fair value losses - (54) 14,611 (7,976) Total comprehensive income for the period 63,619 21,427 Attributable to: Equity holders of the Company 63,756 21,020 Non-controlling interests (137) 407
OTHER FINANCIAL INFORMATION RMB in millions, unless specified Unaudited 1Q2021 4Q2020 1Q2020 EBITDA (a) 49,355 42,872 42,228 Adjusted EBITDA (a) 52,927 46,533 45,190 Adjusted EBITDA margin (b) 39% 35% 42% Interest and related expenses 1,726 1,766 2,006 Net cash/(debt) (c) 5,581 11,063 (5,716) Capital expenditures (d) 7,734 9,659 6,151
Note: (a) EBITDA is calculated as operating profit minus interest income and other gains/losses, net, and adding back depreciation of property, plant and equipment, investment properties as well as right-of-use assets, and amortisation of intangible assets and land use rights. Adjusted EBITDA is calculated as EBITDA plus equity-settled share-based compensation expenses. (b) Adjusted EBITDA margin is calculated by dividing Adjusted EBITDA by revenues. (c) Net cash/(debt) represents period end balance and is calculated as cash and cash equivalents, plus term deposits and others, minus borrowings and notes payable. (d) Capital expenditures consist of additions (excluding business combinations) to property, plant and equipment, construction in progress, investment properties, land use rights and intangible assets (excluding video and music content, game licences and other content).
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION RMB in millions, unless specified Unaudited Audited As at As at March 31, 2021 December 31, 2020 ASSETS Non-current assets Property, plant and equipment 61,833 59,843 Land use rights 16,073 16,091 Right-of-use assets 12,904 12,929 Construction in progress 5,118 4,939 Investment properties 563 583 Intangible assets 156,772 159,437 Investments in associates 323,145 297,609 Investments in joint ventures 7,672 7,649 Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss 183,926 165,944 Financial assets at fair value through other 240,237 213,091 comprehensive income Prepayments, deposits and other assets 26,653 24,630 Other financial assets 510 4 Deferred income tax assets 24,052 21,348 Term deposits 33,219 31,681 1,092,677 1,015,778 Current assets Inventories 816 814 Accounts receivable 51,676 44,981 Prepayments, deposits and other assets 49,182 40,321 Other financial assets 645 1,133 Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss 9,286 6,593 Term deposits 67,737 68,487 Restricted cash 2,493 2,520 Cash and cash equivalents 148,621 152,798 330,456 317,647 Total assets 1,423,133 1,333,425
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION (continued) RMB in millions, unless specified Unaudited Audited As at As at March 31, 2021 December 31, 2020 EQUITY Equity attributable to equity holders of the Company Share capital - - Share premium 51,853 48,793 Shares held for share award schemes (4,747) (4,412) Other reserves 124,487 121,139 Retained earnings 590,219 538,464 761,812 703,984 Non-controlling interests 83,334 74,059 Total equity 845,146 778,043 LIABILITIES Non-current liabilities Borrowings 117,477 112,145 Notes payable 122,942 122,057 Long-term payables 10,895 9,910 Other financial liabilities 8,393 9,254 Deferred income tax liabilities 16,523 16,061 Lease liabilities 10,145 10,198 Deferred revenue 6,629 6,678 293,004 286,303 Current liabilities Accounts payable 102,625 94,030 Other payables and accruals 43,065 54,308 Borrowings 12,818 14,242 Current income tax liabilities 16,369 12,134 Other tax liabilities 2,761 2,149 Other financial liabilities 4,844 5,567 Lease liabilities 3,891 3,822 Deferred revenue 98,610 82,827 284,983 269,079 Total liabilities 577,987 555,382 Total equity and liabilities 1,423,133 1,333,425
RECONCILIATIONS OF IFRS TO NON-IFRS RESULTS As Adjustments Non-IFRS reported RMB in millions, Share-based Net (gains)/losses from Amortisation of Impairment Income unless specified compensation (a) investee companies (b) intangible assets (c) Provision/(reversals) (d) tax effects (e) Unaudited three months ended March 31, 2021 Operating profit 56,273 3,704 (18,331) 1,062 50 - 42,758 Profit for the period 49,008 5,036 (22,231) 2,699 178 (187) 34,503 Profit attributable to equity 47,767 4,855 (21,829) 2,352 178 (205) 33,118 holders Operating margin 42% 32% Net margin 36% 26% Unaudited three months ended December 31, 2020 Operating profit 63,713 3,744 (34,652) 885 4,394 - 38,084 Profit for the period 59,369 4,896 (36,149) 2,260 4,407 (329) 34,454 Profit attributable to equity 59,302 4,735 (36,928) 1,926 4,407 (235) 33,207 holders Operating margin 48% 28% Net margin 44% 26% Unaudited three months ended March 31, 2020 Operating profit 37,260 3,435 (5,272) 639 (487) - 35,575 Profit for the period 29,403 4,198 (6,992) 1,572 (18) (179) 27,984 Profit attributable to equity 28,896 3,957 (6,976) 1,338 (18) (118) 27,079 holders Operating margin 34% 33% Net margin 27% 26% Note: (a) Including put options granted to employees of investee 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) Including net (gains)/losses on deemed disposals/disposals of investee companies, fair value changes arising from investee companies, and other expenses in relation to equity transactions of investee companies (c) Amortisation of intangible assets resulting from acquisitions (d) Impairment provisions/(reversals) for associates, joint ventures, goodwill and other intangible assets arising from acquisitions (e) Income tax effects of non-IFRS adjustments
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