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Match Group revenue beats as Tinder woos more users

Match Group revenue beats as Tinder woos more users
The dating app Tinder is shown on an Apple iPhone in this photo illustration taken February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Illustration/File Photo   -   Copyright  Mike Blake(Reuters)
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By Arjun Panchadar

(Reuters) – Match Group Inc beat analysts’ estimates for third-quarter revenue on Tuesday as its popular dating-app Tinder continued to add users at a rapid rate.

The company, which also plays cupid through its PlentyOfFish and services, has been investing heavily to take its cash cow Tinder to emerging markets and promote its other dating services as competition in the dating market heats up.

Tinder — where users swipe left or right on their phones to signal interest in a person — added 344,000 average subscribers to its second-quarter numbers, bringing the total to 4.1 million at the end of the reported quarter.

Match Group’s total average subscribers rose to 8.1 million in the third quarter.

Revenue was also boosted as more users opted for and kept coming back to premium services like Tinder Gold.

Tinder in India launched a new setting in September which gives women an additional level of scrutiny before they allow men to start messaging conversations, with a view to rolling the function out globally.

However, competition for Tinder in the country is set to intensify after rival Bumble said earlier this month it will launch in India by the end of this year.

Bumble already had a similar feature where only female users can start conversations.

Match Group said it now expects full-year revenue to approach the top end of its prior forecast of $1.68 billion to $1.72 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.72 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

However, its fourth-quarter revenue forecast of between $440 million and $450 million, missed estimates of $454 million.

Net earnings attributable to shareholders fell to $130.2 million, or 44 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $287.7 million, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 39 cents per share.

Total revenue rose 29.3 percent to $443.9 million, beating estimates of $438.1 million.

Dallas-based Match’s shares have risen nearly 90 percent in the last 12 months, despite a 22 percent plunge in May caused by Facebook’s plan to create its own dating service.

(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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