Social network giant Facebook reported soaring profits during the first quarter of 2014, driven by a major surge in advertising revenue.

The technology firm saw profits leap to 642 million dollars (£382.5m), a sharp rise of 193% on the 219 million dollars (£130.5m) for the same period last year.

Revenue was also up by 72% to 2.5 billion dollars (£1.49bn), from 1.46 billion dollars (£870m) in 2013, the company's quarterly figures show.

Loading article content

There was a marked surge in advertising revenue, up 82% on the first quarter of last year to 2.27 billion dollars (£1.35m). Key to this was mobile advertising, which was responsible for 59% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2014, almost doubling the 30% of 12 months ago.

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: "Facebook's business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014.

"We've made some long-term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business."

The company also announced the departure of chief finance officer David Ebersman, who will step down later this year.

The social networking siteincreased its global reach during the first quarter of 2014.

Almost 1.3 billion people used the website in March, up 15% year-on-year, and around 800 million people logged on each day.