The auction and sales platform eBay was able to significantly increase sales and profits year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020. Revenue increased 28 percent to $ 2.9 billion. Operating profit jumped 42 percent to $ 677 million. Because investment income was higher than the tax burden, the net profit even increased by 52 percent to 845 million.
That goes out to publish the Wednesday evening Financial figures on eBay emerged. It looks similar for the year as a whole. eBay had a total of 10.3 billion dollars in sales in 2020, 19 percent more than in 2019. In October, eBay, feeling the upswing, raised its annual forecast to 10.04 to 10.11 billion dollars. Now the company has exceeded these higher expectations.
At the same time, eBay managed to increase annual operating profit by 46 percent to $ 2.7 billion. The company made more than a billion dollars in advertising for the first time last year. The annual net profit of $ 5.7 billion was even more than three times as high as in 2019.
Of this, however, 3.1 billion come from discontinued operations. eBay has sold its classifieds business to Norway and received 2.5 billion dollars in cash in addition to a handsome block of shares. Excluding the discontinued operations, net profit for the year still jumped 68 percent to $ 2.5 billion last year.
More users, good outlook
As in the third quarter, eBay, like other large online shopping platforms, is benefiting from the exit and contact restrictions in times of the corona pandemic. Not only do people spend more time online, they also shop more online. EBay recorded seven percent more active buyers worldwide in the last quarter, which has grown to a total of 185 million. These have made 21 percent more transactions than last year for a total volume of 26.6 billion dollars.
For the current first quarter of 2021, eBay expects sales to continue to grow by between $ 2.94 billion and $ 2.99 billion. That would be significantly more than in the first quarter of 2020, when eBay turned over $ 2.4 billion. In 2020, eBay bought back approximately $ 5.1 billion of its own shares.
For the current year there are even six billion dollars for the silent dividend. The company is increasing its real dividend by 13 percent. That pleases the institutional investors, although eBay’s cash reserves of 1.4 billion dollars at the end of the year were not exactly lavishly endowed compared to other corporations. In after-hours trading, eBay’s share price rose eleven percent on Wednesday evening.