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Facebook profit triples

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Facebook profits nearly tripled to $US642 million ($A688 million) in the first quarter of 2014 on a 72 per cent surge in revenues, the company has reported.

Advertising revenues on the huge social network were up 82 per cent from a year ago, the company said.

Of that, earnings from mobile ads comprised 59 per cent of that, compared with 53 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year.

Mobile users continued to dominate the growth picture for the company: daily active users were up 21 per cent from a year ago to 802 million, and of them mobile users totalled 609 million, a year-on-year gain of 43 per cent.

Monthly active users meanwhile rose to 1.28 billion, one billion of them on mobile.

“Facebook’s business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

“We’ve made some long term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We’re in great position to continue making progress towards our mission.”

Zuckerberg remains cautious, however, on the challeneg of serving a customer base that tops a billion people.

“Understanding who you serve is always a very important problem, and it only gets harder the more people that you serve,” says Mark Zuckerberg.

The company also announced that its chief financial officer, David Ebersman, planned to step down on June 1.

Ebersman, who helped lead the company through its up and down initial public offering and first two years as a public company, will be succeeded by David Wehner, Facebook’s vice president for corporate finance and business planning.

Facebook’s shares rose about 3 percent in after-hours trading overnight after falling about 2.7 percent during regular trading earlier.

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