Groupon reports revenue spike in first public earnings report

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Groupon reported a 419% increase in 2011 revenue to $1.6 billion, the company said in its first earnings report as a public company on Feb. 8. Full-year operating costs were $203.4 million, compared with $420.3 million for 2010.

Andrew Mason, CEO and co-founder of Groupon, said in an earnings call that the company was "surprised" by the popularity of giveaways on mobile devices. "They look at a 4-inch screen, see a hotel ... and [are] spending $300 to $400 because of the trust they have in the Groupon brand," he said.

The daily deals company reported a 194%increase in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011 to $506.5 million, compared with $172.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company reported that its operating income totaled $15 million in the fourth quarter, compared with an operating loss of $336.1 million for the same period last year.

"Groupon had a strong fourth quarter and we finished 2011 having helped 250,000 local merchants across 47 countries grow their businesses while saving Groupon customers billions of dollars," Mason said in the earnings statement. "We will continue to invest in new services and tools that help our merchant partners be more successful and drive local commerce around the world."

Since May 2010, Groupon has been expanding by acquiring a number of companies, beginning with the purchase of app development shop Mob.ly in May of 2010. This was followed by the purchase of several other companies, including the collaborative service Campfire, as well as Zappedy, which offers online services for small and local businesses.

On Monday, Groupon acquired Adku, a start-up formed by former Google employees, which helps e-commerce retailers improve their recommendations sites, using big data to personalize online shopping experiences.

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