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eBay ups revs but disappoints market

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eBay's latest set of financial results has been labelled a disappointment by market watchers concerned that the online auction giant is seeing a slowdown in growth. eBay's stock dipped five per cent on news that while revenues were up, net income was on the slide.

Publishing Q1 results for the three months to March, eBay generated net revenues of $1.39bn - up 35 per cent on the same period last year ($1.03bn).

In the US, net revenues hit $527m, up 30 per cent on the year, while its overseas operations saw takings grow 25 per cent to $493m. Strip out the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, and revenues for eBay's international operations increased 32 per cent.

Despite this increase in revenues, which met the market's expectations, net income fell three per cent on the year to $248.3m fuelling concerns about the company's future growth.

The firm also revealed that at the end of March the number of registered users was just shy of 200m - up 31 per cent on the 147m users reported at the end of Q1 05. The number of active users - those eBayers who either bid, bought, or listed an item within the last year - increased 25 per cent to a record 75.4m in Q1 06.

As for eBay-owned VoIP outfit Skype (which is "not a telephony replacement service and cannot be used for emergency calling"), it saw Q1 revenues jump 42 per cent to $35.2 compared to the $24.8m generated between October 2005 to the end of the quarter.

"Q1 was an excellent quarter for the company, with strong growth across our portfolio of businesses," eBay boss Meg Whitman said. ®

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