The Indian operations of social-media giant Facebook recorded a revenue surge of 43% year on year to about Rs. 1,277.3 crore in 2019-20, while its net profit more than doubled to Rs. 135.7 crore as per the regulatory documents accessed by Tofler, a research-backed data gathering company.
Net advertising revenue almost doubled to Rs. 520.4 crore from Rs. 263.9 crore. Revenue from IT-enabled business process outsourcing service to group companies stood at Rs. 695.1 crore as against Rs. 628.5 crore. While the gross amount billed by Facebook to advertisers in FY20 was Rs. 6,612.6 crore compared to Rs. 2,253.7 crore last financial year, the cost of advertising inventory rose to Rs. 6,067.9 crore from Rs. 1,969.9 crore last year.
The company’s expenses climbed 34% to Rs. 1,045.67 crore from 779.75 crore last year. Facebook’s employee benefits expense grew 63.3% to Rs. 299.3 crore in FY20 from Rs. 183.2 crore. It paid an equalisation levy of Rs. 369.5 crore as against a payment of Rs. 118.2 crore in the previous fiscal.
“We are deeply committed to being an ally in the country’s socio-economic transformation. We will continue to invest in our India operations while working with small and large businesses to help in their economic recovery post the pandemic,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
“The future impact of the current economic situation is uncertain and difficult to predict. The company will continue to closely monitor any material changes to future economic conditions.”
Last month, tech giant Google India had reported a 34.8% increase in FY20 revenue at Rs. 5,593.8 crore compared to Rs. 4,147 crore in FY19. The net profit had jumped by 23.9% at Rs. 586.2 crore in FY20 as compared to Rs. 472.8 crore in the preceding fiscal. Expenses rose 30.4% to Rs. 4,455.5 crore in FY20 from Rs. 3,416.5 crore in 2018-19.
Advertising revenue contributed about 27% of the company’s turnover, while the share of IT-enabled services stood at 32% and that of IT services at 41%. Google India had paid an equalisation levy of Rs. 611.1 crore in FY20.
Google India is also a third-party reseller of advertising space of Google Adwords programme and other Google advertising products and services in India to advertisers seeking to market their products and services to consumers and business users over the internet.
Earlier this year in April, Facebook made its single-biggest investment by putting $5.7 billion into Jio Platforms of India, reaffirming its confidence in the developing India market.
Jio Platforms is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, one of India’s biggest MNCs and a major provider of cellular and internet services in the country. The investment is expected to give Facebook a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms.
Close to 388 million people in India have been connected to the internet over the past four years through Jio, Facebook said in a statement.
“The country is in the middle of a major digital transformation, and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page. “With communities around the world in lockdown, many of these entrepreneurs need digital tools they can rely on to find and communicate with customers and grow their businesses.”