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[HONG KONG] Chinese technology giant Tencent reported a profit boost Wednesday, helped by the growing popularity of its mobile games.
Net profit for 2016 was up 43 per cent year on year from 28.81 billion yuan to 41.09 billion yuan (S$8.36 billion).
Revenues from online games increased by 25 per cent to 70.84 billion yuan, mainly driven by successful smartphone offerings like "Honour of Kings".
Tencent expanded its presence in the gaming sector last year, when it paid US$8.6 billion for a majority stake in Supercell - maker of online game "Clash of Clans".
Overall revenue was up 48 per cent at 151.94 billion yuan, driven by smartphone games, advertising, digital content sales, and payment related services, the company said.
Tencent operates China's biggest messaging service WeChat through which a variety of businesses including gaming, advertising and social networking have flourished in recent years.
The firm has also sought to make its instant messaging platform QQ more interactive, adding facial beautifying tools, painting-style photos, and animated video stickers, it said Wednesday.
Looking ahead, the company said it wanted to expand the popularity of its major smartphone games, as well as adding new "genre-driven" PC games in 2017.
It would also develop its capabilities in emerging technology, including cloud services, it said.