Facebook revenue up 60%; Spain ends two-year recession; World heading for wine shortage





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1 Facebook revenue up 60% (BBC) Social networking giant Facebook reported a 60% surge in revenue, to $2.02bn in the third quarter, generating profits of $425m. Revenue from advertising grew by 66% to $1.8bn, with nearly half of that coming from mobile ads. “The strong results we achieved this quarter show that we’re prepared for the next phase of our company,” said Mark Zuckerberg. Shares in the company have nearly doubled in value since July, when it first announced a big jump in its mobile advertising revenue.

The company has made a concerted push to boost its mobile offering, and now says that 874 million of the site’s more than one billion users access Facebook on their phone. Speaking during a conference call, Mr Zuckerburg called Facebook a “mobile company” and noted more than half of people are only using Facebook from their phones. By growing its mobile users, the company has also been able to sell more mobile ads, a crucial metric that is widely watched by analysts.

Facebook has grown its share of the mobile ad market in the US from just 9% last year to 14.9% this year, according to research firm eMarketer. But Google is still by far the leader, accounting for close to half of all mobile ad spending in the US.  Revenue from mobile ads was around $880m this quarter, compared to just $150m a year earlier. However, Facebook’s user growth in the US and Canada appears to have slowed dramatically. This is significant as the site earns about $4.19 for each user in the US and Canada, compared to just $0.74 for users in high-growth areas such as Asia.


2 Spain ends two-year recession (BBC) Spain has seen its first quarterly economic growth since 2011, according to data from the country’s National Statistics agency INE. The country’s GDP grew 0.1% in the July-to-September period, after contracting for the previous nine quarters. Spain was one of the countries worst hit by the global economic crisis, with street riots and soaring unemployment.

The INE said an increasing number of exports supported the growth, with a boost to the tourist industry from holidaymakers avoiding northern Africa and the Middle East. Ben May, economist at Capital Economics, said the growth was encouraging and cited business surveys that suggested there “may be more to come in the near term”. Mr May said: “However, domestic demand is still contracting and against that backdrop, it’s hard to see a strong and sustained recovery.”

Spain’s economy has been ailing since its property bubble burst in 2008. Since then, the country has endured Europe’s highest level of unemployment, at 26%. There have been huge street protests in response to government austerity cuts and thousands of businesses have gone bust.


3 World heading for wine shortage (Johannesburg Times) The world is heading for a wine shortage as vineyards struggle to keep pace with steadily rising demand, economists warn. Last year the wine industry had its deepest shortfall in more than 40 years as demand for wine, including for use in blends such as vermouth, outstripped supply by 300million cases – about a tenth of total wine consumption worldwide.

A decade ago, the industry produced an excess of 600million cases, according to research by US financial services giant Morgan Stanley. “Data suggest there might be insufficient supply to meet demand in coming years, as current vintages are released,” said the report. Global wine production has been in decline since a 2004 peak, and supply been in balance or deficit since 2006 as makers deplete their stocks.

A fall in global “area under vine” – the total area covered by vineyards – has driven the decline in wine production. In the last 12 months, production from Europe, the world’s biggest wine-producing region, was hit by inclement weather. Apart from a short dip between 2008 and 2010, wine consumption has been on an upward march, with booming demand in the US and China driving the rise, with the former poised to overtake France as the world’s No1 wine buyer. Net wine exporters, such as Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand, stand to benefit from the shortage.



About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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