‘We’re Up’: eBay Mobile Gamble Pays Off

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SAN FRANCISCO – Revenue at online auction and clearing house eBay rose 18 percent to $4 billion in the latest quarter as business in the company’s online marketplace and its PayPal unit continued to improve.
Revenue for the main eBay website rose 16 percent in the fourth quarter, following improvements in the listing and sales process, including efforts to make it easier for customers to use their mobile devices to buy simple goods like tennis shoes.

“Web-enabled multichannel commerce is evolving quickly, and consumer shopping behavior is changing rapidly,” said John Donahoe, eBay CEO.

“Our focus is on being a global commerce leader in this new environment, connecting buyers and sellers everywhere, and being a preferred multichannel partner of choice for retailers and brands of all sizes.”

eBay mobile is also on the rise and finished the year with $13 billion in volume – more than double the prior year – and PayPal mobile handled almost $14 billion in payment volume, more than triple the prior year.

In 2013, mobile PayPal and eBay sites are expected to exceed $20 billion each, the auction house said today.

Its mobile apps attracted more than 4 million new customers in 2012.

eBay’s full year revenue also jumped 21% to $14.1 billion, compared to 2011.

The growth of eBay Marketplaces, which allows retailers sell direct “had a terrific fourth quarter, with growth in the U.S. accelerating three points” and is outpacing its ecommerce division, said Donahoe.

“We had a great finish to an excellent year, with fourth quarter results exceeding our expectations.” 

Despite these improvements, eBay’s profit overall dropped 62pc, with growth overshadowed by a one-time gain from selling Skype to Microsoft for $8.5 billion in 2011.

Net income in Q4 totaled US$751 m, down from $1.98 billion a year earlier.

 

Not including the Skype sale, net income would have been up 17pc at $927 million.

EBay’s PayPal division, which processes payments and is very active in Australia, reported a 24 percent jump in revenue, and added nearly 2 million accounts a month.

The company has been branching out into payments off the Internet, such as in stores and on mobile handsets through devices that can read credit cards – some using contact-free NFC connections.

eBay expects net revenues in the range of $3,650 – $3,750 million for first quarter 2013. 

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