Chinese entertainment platform Bilibili (NASDAQ: BILI) booked a 69% year-on-year (YoY) growth in total revenue to hit RMB 2.3 billion (USD 327 million) in the first quarter of 2020, beating analysts expectations, the firm announced Monday. However, the firm widened its net loss to RMB 538.6 (USD 76.1 million), 175% up versus last year’s level.
Bilibili enjoyed a healthy user growth with the average time spent by users on the platform reaching a record of 87 minutes per day, as many Chinese citizens turned to Bilibili during their COVID-19 lockdown.
Average monthly active users (MAUs) increased by 70% YoY to 172.4 million, while average daily active users (DAUs) also expanded by 69% YoY to 50.8 million. The last quarter also witnessed Bilibili reaching 13.4 million average monthly paying users, up 134% compared to the same period in 2019.
“User growth can be attributed to two factors. One is our 10-year dedication in building a quality content ecosystem for our users, while the second is our continuous effort to raise the awareness of the Bilibili brand,” said CEO Chen Rui during the company’s earnings call.
The company’s share price has also performed well in recent weeks on the back of a USD 400 million partnership with Sony, reaching a peak of USD 33.66 at yesterday’s closing.
Bilibili’s CEO refused that the company’s positive growth might be strictly correlated with the coronavirus pandemic. “All of the factors I mentioned just now actually have no business with the prolonged vocational time caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It might be an accelerator but it is not the main reason.”
Chen pointed out that the demographic of new users has not changed much, and was still largely dominated by young users. The average age of new users is 20-year-old, said Chen, while more than half of them come from lower-tier cities.
The company’s mobile games segment experienced a 32% YoY growth, bringing in USD 162.5 million in revenue, accounting for 49.7% of the firm’s total revenue. Bilibili’s value-added services (VAS), including its premium membership program and live broadcasting services, grew by 172% YoY to USD 112.2 million. The advertising business and the e-commerce sector generated USD 30.3 million and USD 22.2 million, respectively.
“I have faith in our gaming business this year, as we currently have more than 30 unreleased titles in our pipeline. And eight of them have already acquired licenses,” Chen said.
As of March 31, 2020, Bilibili had cash and cash equivalents, time deposits, as well as short-term investments of USD 1.1 billion.
For the second quarter, Bilibili says it expects net revenue to be between RMB 2.5 billion (USD 351.56 million) and RMB 2.55 billion (USD 358.59 billion), which would mark a YoY increase of 56.9%.
Following the earnings release, Bilibili’s share price slid by 3.42% in after-hours trading.