Tom Group is confident revenue will expand 25 per cent to $2.5 billion this year, backed by growth of its online operations and an improved business environment. Chief executive Wang Sing said the company would also expand its outdoor advertising business in the mainland and its publishing units in the mainland and Taiwan. He hoped earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would double from $263 million last year. The firm, which plans to switch from the Growth Enterprise Market to the main board, said it was 'actively evaluating' merger and acquisition opportunities. However, Mr Wang said it was 'not in a hurry to make purchases'. In the past, Tom Group had focused on small outdoor advertising companies on the mainland, but Mr Wang said it would seek larger targets. 'We have about $3 billion cash in hand, including $1.6 billion net cash. It is absolutely enough to fund large-scale acquisitions,' he said. The firm yesterday reported a first-quarter profit of $653.89 million, against a loss of $42.85 million a year earlier, brought by a $873.36 million one-time gain from the spinning off of its online business. Revenue increased 20.13 per cent to $514.53 million, with 38 per cent from publishing and 41 per cent from Tom Online, in which it has a 72 per cent stake. Its 64 per cent-owned Chinese Entertainment Television had sales of $4 million. It booked provisions of $239.52 million, including $109 million for the termination of an analogue broadcasting contract.