Match beats sales estimates as more stay-at-home users sign up for online dating

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Match Group Inc on Wednesday reported quarterly revenue above Wall Street estimates, as more users signed up on its app Tinder to meet new people in the midst of social distancing restrictions induced by COVID-19.

Tinder, a major revenue generator for Match, added about 400,000 subscribers in the third quarter, taking its total average subscribers to 6.6 million and pushing its direct sales up 15% year-over-year.

Tinder dominated the U.S. dating market with close to 5.1 million average daily active users and 3.9 million downloads during the quarter, according to data from analytics firm Apptopia.

Match said its total revenue rose 18% to $639.8 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, beating analysts’ estimates of $605.1 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company said growth in North America subscribers was primarily driven by apps including Tinder, Hinge, BLK and Chispa, while international subscribers mainly signed up on Tinder.

Average subscribers on Match’s apps, which also include OkCupid and Plenty of Fish, increased 12% to 10.8 million during the quarter.

Net earnings attributable to Match shareholders rose to $132.6 million, or 46 cents per share, from $128.5 million, or 63 cents per share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)