Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) reported first-quarter results on May 7. The dating products company's massively popular Tinder app is growing rapidly, fueling sharp increases in Match Group's sales and profits.

Match Group results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q1 2019

Q1 2018

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$464.6 million

$407.4 million

14%

Net earnings

$123 million

$99.7 million

23%

Earnings per share

$0.42

$0.33

27%

Data Source: Match Group Q1 2019 earnings release (link opens PDF).

What happened with Match Group this quarter? 

Tinder's average subscribers jumped 36% year over year to 4.7 million, while average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) increased 2%. The app's viral growth is also allowing Match Group to keep a lid on marketing expenses. Tinder's marketing spend was flat year over year in the first quarter, down more than 200 basis points as a percent of revenue, and its North America marketing spend actually declined against the prior-year quarter. 

A person pointing to an upwardly sloping chart

Tinder is fueling Match Group's growth. Image source: Getty Images.

On a companywide basis, Match Group's subscriber base grew 16% to 8.6 million, while ARPU was steady at $0.58 -- and up 4% when excluding the effects of foreign currency fluctuations.

In all, Match Group's revenue rose 14% to $464.6 million, and 18% on a currency-neutral basis.

The company's operating income increased only 6%, due mainly to performance-based stock awards that drove compensation expenses higher during the quarter. But income-tax benefits helped net earnings rise 23% to $123 million, and share repurchases further boosted earnings per share, which leaped 27% to $0.42.  

Looking forward

For the second quarter, Match Group expects total revenue of $480 million to $490 million and adjusted EBITDA of $190 million to $195 million. The midpoint of these ranges would represent year-over-year growth of 15% and 10%, respectively. 

Management also noted that Match Group is gearing up for a major push into Asia. Roughly 300 million single people currently reside in the area the company refers to as its Asia Pacific segment, and this market is underpenetrated, according to Match Group. But the company's dating apps are enjoying strong growth in countries such as Japan and India, and Match Group recently realigned its leadership team to help accelerate growth in the region. 

"Tinder is driving very strong results, and we have a lot of opportunity ahead of us," CEO Amanda Ginsberg said during a conference call with analysts. "We're achieving these results by enhancing the products and delivering the best experience possible for young single people all over the world."