The decline in sales at the Facebook group Meta accelerated in the past quarter. Revenues fell four percent year-on-year to $27.7 billion (EUR 27.5 billion), as Meta announced after the US stock market closed.
The bottom line is that profits fell by 52 percent to around 4.4 billion dollars. The sales forecast also disappointed investors. They temporarily dropped the stock by around 12 percent in after-hours trading.
Facebook is concerned that advertisers are spending less on online ads in the face of high inflation and economic concerns. The business of Google and the photo app Snapchat is also suffering.
In the second quarter, Meta reported the first decline in sales, at that time the minus was one percent. While less money is coming in, costs rose by around a fifth to a good $22 billion in the past quarter.
Among other things, the development of virtual worlds, to which Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to align the group, continues to devour a lot of money. In the past quarter alone, the Reality Labs division, which is working on the so-called Metaverse, posted an operating loss of almost $3.7 billion. Since the beginning of the year, a deficit of 9.4 billion dollars has accumulated. And CFO Dave Wehner announced that Reality Labs' losses would "grow significantly" in the coming year.
For the current quarter, Meta forecast sales of between $30 billion and $32.5 billion. In the same quarter of the previous year, there had been an increase of 20 percent to almost 33.7 billion dollars.