eBay revenues up, profits down in Q4

The online retailer has high hopes for its mobile operations in the new financial year.

Online auctioning giant eBay has reported a fourth-quarter revenue increase of 18 percent to nearly US$4 billion year-on-year, but net profit dropped by 62 percent to US$751 million.

The reason for the sharp decline , compared to the last corresponding period, was because eBay acquired a large sum of money in late 2011 from the sale of its Skype assets to Microsoft. This augmented the financial results for eBay's 2011 financial year.

Full year net revenue for eBay came in at US$14.1 billion and net income at US$2.6 billion, up 21 per cent and down 19 per cent from the previous year, respectively.

All in all, the company has had a good year. For financial year 2013, eBay expects its net revenues to be in the range of US$3.65 billion to US$3.75 billion.

"We had a great finish to an excellent year, with fourth-quarter results exceeding our expectations," eBay President and CEO John Donahoe said in a statement.

He has high hopes for the company's mobile operations, particularly for its fast-growing PayPal payments division. PayPal has been rapidly shoring up its mobile payment credentials, recently releasing its PayPal Here API , which integrates its cloud payment system into point-of-sale terminals, and allows customers to pay in participating stores through their smartphones.

"Mobile continues to rewrite the commerce playbook, and we continue to be a mobile commerce and payments leader," Donahoe said. eBay mobile finished the year with US$13 billion in volume — more than double the prior year — and PayPal mobile handled almost US$14 billion in payment volume, more than triple the prior year.

"In 2013, we expect each to exceed US$20 billion."

eBay's biggest business unit, the marketplace segment, recorded a 16 percent revenue growth to US$2.05 billion.