eBay profits lifted by Skype sale

Profits at online auction giant eBay have surged, thanks to the sale of a majority stake in its internet phone company Skype. EBay made a net profit of $1.36bn (£835m) in the three months to the end of December, up from $367m for the same period a year earlier.

The profits were lifted by the gain of $1.4bn that it decided to register in the quarter from the Skype sale.

EBay agreed to sell 65% of Skype in September for $2bn.

The company said its profits were also bolstered by growth at its PayPal online payments business, and increased shopping over the Christmas period.

Excluding the one-off gain from the Skype sale, its results were still ahead of market expectations.

Its revenues rose 16% from a year earlier to $2.37bn.

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