Facebook profit surges as user base grows

Mark Zuckerberg wears Oculus VR headsetImage copyright
Getty Images

Facebook said it grew profits by 177% to $10.2bn (£8bn) last year, as more users logged onto the social network.

The company said it had 1.86 billion monthly active users during 2016, an increase of 17% on the previous year.

However, the results threatened to be overshadowed by reports that a US jury had ruled against Facebook in a case over its virtual reality business.

Facebook said it was “disappointed” by aspects of the verdict but was “undeterred”.

Facebook and other defendants were ordered to pay damages of $500m, according to the reports.

“The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole Zenimax’s trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favour,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

The firm did not comment on reports of the damages.

Oculus was bought by Facebook in 2014, and is seen as a major part of the firm’s strategy over the next 10 years.

Zenimax Media was suing Facebook for $2bn, arguing its early innovations in VR were unlawfully copied when Oculus built the Rift headset.