Feeds

eBay defies 'softening' economy

Profits leap 22 per cent

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

eBay says that a softening economy has slowed its online auctions on both sides of the Atlantic. But the company still made an awful lot of money during the year's first quarter. And it still has high hopes for the future.

"We are encouraged by what we are seeing," brand-spanking-new CEO John Donahoe told investors during a conference call. "With Q1 behind us, I feel very good about the direction we are headed."

During the quarter ending March 31 - the day Donahoe grabbed the reins from former CEO Meg Whitman - the world's most popular online auction house raked in revenues of $2.19bn, a 24 per cent increase from a year ago, while profits hit $460m, a 22 percent leap from the previous year.

This came despite what eBay called "softening" economies in the US and the UK. "We saw a slowing in terms of buyers' propensity to buy toward the end of the first quarter," Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan said during the call. The US is eBay's number one market, while Britain is number three (just behind Germany).

But eBay cleaned up in other parts of the world, benefiting from a weak American dollar. Fifty-five per cent of the company's "marketplace" revenue - cash generated from auctions on eBay.com, Shopping.com, StubHub, Kijiji, and other sites - came from outside the US.

The number of eBay users increased only 1 per cent from the previous year, while gross merchandising volume (GMV) - the sum value of all closed auctions - decreased one per cent. But the number of auction listings rose 10 per cent.

eBay was pleased enough with the quarter to raise its forecast for the coming year. The company now expects 2008 revenues to reach somewhere between $8.7bn and $9bn. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.