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eBay's first-quarter net income soars 20 per cent

Results driven by higher revenue from PayPal and strong sales at its e-commerce sites.

The online shopping website eBay has reported a net income of $570m for the first quarter ended 31 March 2012 – an increase of 20 per cent, compared to $476m for the same period last year.

Diluted earnings per share were $0.44, a year-on-year increase from $0.36; this was largely driven by strong top-line growth.

Net revenue increased 29 per cent to $3.28bn, against $2.55bn last year.

John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay, said: 

The first quarter was a strong start to the year for us with momentum continuing in our Marketplaces, PayPal and GSI Commerce businesses. We believe that innovation in retail today is technology-driven and consumers are embracing smarter, easier, better ways to shop. We are enabling commerce in this new retail environment, supporting and partnering with sellers of all sizes and giving consumers worldwide the ability to shop anytime, anywhere, for whatever they want.

Revenue of the company’s PayPal money transfer service was $1.31bn, an increase of 32 per cent compared to $993m for the same period last year. This was driven primarily by increased penetration on eBay, as well as continued merchant and consumer adoption.

PayPal ended the quarter with 109.8 million active registered accounts, a 12 per cent increase over the first quarter of 2011. PayPal’s net total payment volume also grew 24 per cent to $34bn.

Marketplaces also performed better during the quarter. Gross merchandise volume excluding vehicles increased 12 per cent to $16bn.

GSI generated $715m in global e-commerce merchandise sales during the quarter and contributed $237m in revenue. Same-store sales grew 26 per cent year-over-year, reflecting strong ecommerce sales from retail clients.

For the second quarter and full-year 2012, eBay expects net revenues in the range of $3.25m-$3.35m and $13.8m-$14.1m, respectively.