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FY-2015: Twitter revenue up 58%

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BENGALURU: Twitter Inc reported 58.1 per cent increase in GAAP revenue for the year ended 31 December, 2015 (FY-2015, current year) at $2,218 million as compared to $1,403 million in FY-2014.

Taking foreign exchange effect into account, revenue increased 58.1 per cent in the current year at $1,994 million as compared to $1,256 million. Loss for the current year reduced to $521.03 million as compared to $577.82 million in the previous year.

Adjusted EBIDTA in FY-2015 increased 85.4 per cent to $577.81 million (25.1 per cent margin) in FY-2015 as compared to $300.90 million (21.4 per cent margin).

For the quarter ended 31 December, 2015 (Q4-2015, current quarter), Twitter advertising revenue increased 48.3 per cent to $710.47 million from $479.08 million in the corresponding prior year quarter. Net loss in the current quarter declined $90.24 million as compared to $125.35 million in Q4-2014. Adjusted EBIDTA in Q4-2015 increased 35.3 per cent to $191.42 million (26.9 per cent margin) as compared to $141.49 million (29.5 per cent margin) in the corresponding prior year quarter.

Twitter says that total advertising revenue reached $641 million in Q4-2015, an increase of 48 per cent year over year, as reported, and 53 per cent on a constant currency basis. Twitter owned-and-operated advertising revenue was $556 million, an increase of 31 per cent year over year. Non-owned-and-operated advertising revenue reached $85 million, or 13 per cent of advertising revenue, consistent with that of Q3-2015. Growth in total advertising revenue continues to be driven by strong growth in demand for our advertising products, particularly video and website card formats. However, year-over-year growth in the app install advertising format slowed meaningfully in Q4-2015 relative to that of Q3-2015. Sequential video revenue growth in Q4-2015 more than doubled that of total advertising revenue growth.

By channel, the company says that SMB revenue was again the fastest growing on a year-over-year basis, driven by growth in new customers, though it remains the smallest segment of total advertising revenue by a considerable margin. Twitter’s direct sales channel showed the strongest growth in revenue on a sequential basis in the period, reflecting seasonal spending typically seen from brand advertisers in Q4-2015. Twitter’s base of total active advertisers grew by nearly 90 per cent in the period versus Q4 2014 – approximately 16 per cent on a sequential basis as the company continued to sign up new advertisers and grow overall demand on the platform.

Data licensing and other revenue totalled $70 million in the quarter, up 48 per cent year over year, driven by more than 60 per cent growth in mobile ad exchange revenue.

Advertising Metrics

In Q4-2015, Twitter says it reached 130,000 active advertisers, up almost 90 per cent year over year, driven by small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) initiatives. Twitter expects that SMB growth will continue as it improves its product, making it faster and easier to run campaigns and improve Twitter’s direct response tools.

Advertising revenue growth on a year-over-year basis was driven by an increase in ad engagements, which grew 153 per cent year over year. Twitter says that this was once again primarily the result of its move to auto-play video in late Q3-2015, as well as growth in our non-owned-and-operated business and an increase in ad load.

Average cost-per-engagement (CPE) fell 41 per cent year over year, due primarily to the shift to auto-play video, which delivers more engagement at a much lower average CPE than click-to-play video ads. Overall ad load was higher in the quarter, on both a year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter basis, driven by the increase in advertiser demand.

Audience

Total MAUs (monthly average users) were 320 million for the current quarter, flat versus Q3-2015 and an increase of nine per cent on a year-over-year basis. MAUs, excluding SMS Fast Followers, grew six per cent year over year to 305 million, but were down on a sequential basis from 307 million in Q3. As of the end of January, Twitter says that it has already seen total MAUs, excluding SMS Fast Followers, return to Q3 levels. In Q4-2015, the company says that it saw positive impacts from its marketing initiatives, which contributed meaningfully to MAU growth; however, these were more than offset by organic declines, partially due to fourth quarter seasonal trends.

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