Skype and PayPal push eBay profits to all-time high

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Skype and PayPal push eBay profits to all-time high

UK success offsets US slow down.

Auction giant eBay has reported a 52 percent leap in quarterly profits, in part down to strong UK growth. 

EBay UK was one of the company's biggest growth areas during the quarter, with a 26 percent surge in registered users compared with a global average increase of 21 percent.

Growth in Britain, Italy and France has helped to offset a slowdown in Germany and the US.

Profits were also boosted by strong performances from eBay-owned companies PayPal and Skype, and by faster-than-average growth in the UK. 

Skype, bought by eBay in 2005 for £1.3bn (A$3.11bn), moved into the black for the first time as user numbers more than doubled to 196 million.

EBay's profits also benefited from a 51 percent rise in payments through PayPal, the online transaction service it bought for £75m (A$179.81) in 2002.

PayPal has recently been adopted as a payments system by several other online retailers, including Harrods, DHL and Boots

EBay made US$377m in the first quarter of 2007, reporting global revenue up 27 percent to US$1.77bn.

The number of eBay buyers now outstrips the number of sellers, and worldwide membership totals 233 million.
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