Hong Kong, August 17, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service says Tencent's second quarter performance is in line with Moody's expectations and continues to support its Baa1 rating and its stable outlook.
In spite of a moderating pace in the growth of internet users and a traditional low season for online gaming in China, Tencent's 2Q revenues increased 56.2% over the same period in 2011.
Internet value-added services (IVAS) remained the main contributor and accounted for 74% of total revenue, and online gaming revenue -- which is booked under IVAS, -- rose 53% year on year due to increased total users and higher ARPU, as well as contribution from international markets.
During 2Q, EBITDA margin contracted to 41.1% from 47% a year ago, mainly due to the rise in operating expenses for new products and new initiatives; but still within Moody's expectations.
At the same time, 2Q EBITDA rose 36.6% from 2Q 2011 and adjusted Debt/ EBITDA for the last 12 months was strong at around 0.5x.
With various new game titles are approaching launch, Moody's expects Tencent to partially moderate margin pressure through a gradual rise in gaming ARPU and the growth of user accounts.
Meanwhile, Tencent maintains its leading position in China's social networking services (SNS) and instant messaging (IM) market; its active IM user accounts rose 12% year-on-year to 784 million as of June 2012. Its leading position in SNS and IM provides it with the ability to grow online advertising revenue, which rose a remarkable 72% during the first half of 2012 despite the Mainland's slowing economy.
Revenue from e-commerce transactions grew steadily and accounted for 8.1% of total revenue in 2Q. E-commerce has been identified by management as a focus of further expansion. Moody's expects its e-commerce investments will proceed in a prudent manner and will not substantially weaken the company's financial strength.
Tencent's financial position remains strong, supported by its ample cash on hand of RMB 27.6 billion, including over RMB 17 billion in term deposits. This amount covers well its total outstanding debt of RMB 8.3 billion; including short-term debt of RMB 3.6 billion.
Moody's expects Tencent's adjusted debt/EBITDA to be around 1.0x and to maintain its sound liquidity position over the next 1-2 years, underpinned by its strong operating profitability and steady growth in revenue.
Tencent is one of the largest providers of internet services, operating leading social networking services (SNS), online portals and online game platforms in China. It owns the largest instant messaging (IM) community, and offers various community value-added services on its internet platform (approximately 784 million active IM user accounts as of June 2012) and mobile platform (approximately 9% of total revenue in first half 2012).
Tencent is the largest player in the Chinese online game segments by revenue. It generated RMB 35.6 billion ($5.5 billion) of revenue and RMB16.3 billion ($2.5 billion) of adjusted EBITDA in the 12 months to June 2012. Tencent is approximately 34% owned by Naspers Limited (Baa3/stable).
Jonathan Chien Tsung Lee Vice President - Senior Analyst Corporate Finance Group Moody'sInvestors Service Hong Kong Ltd. 24/F One Pacific Place 88 Queensway Hong Kong China (Hong Kong S.A.R.) JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350 SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077 Gary Lau MD - Corporate Finance Corporate Finance Group JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350 SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077 Releasing Office: Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd. 24/F One Pacific Place 88 Queensway Hong Kong China (Hong Kong S.A.R.) JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350 SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077 (C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.
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