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Sina reports US$32 m in Q3 revenues
( 2003-10-29 09:03) (China Daily)

Chinese Internet company Sina Corp reported record quarterly revenues and profits yesterday, boosted by Internet advertising and mobile message revenue increases.

The biggest Chinese Internet portal in terms of revenues released its financial report for the third quarter yesterday and said its revenues had reached US$31.9 million, with a 208 per cent growth year-on-year and 23 per cent increase over the second quarter.

Its net profits also reached a record high of US$11.7 million in the period, or 21 US cents per diluted share on the NASDAQ stock market in New York.

"What is particularly satisfactory to us is that our profit growth was three times that of the rate of revenue, which shows the scalability of our business," said Sina Chief Executive Officer Wang Yan.

Hurst Lin, the company's chief operating officer, attributed the record growth to the development of its online advertising and wireless message businesses.

Sina's online advertising revenues rose by 20 per cent over the second quarter and 76 per cent over the same period last year, accounting for 36 per cent of its total revenues.

Non-advertising revenues totalled US$20.5 million, a 24 per cent increase over the second quarter.

The increase in non-advertising revenues was primarily driven by the growth in mobile messages.

Lin revealed that the online game Lineage, operated by its joint venture Sina NCSoft, was not so successful due to the spread of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) from April to June.

However, he said his company was scheduled to launch the free trial for Lineage 2 in the second quarter of 2004, and will start to promote it this quarter.

By the end of September, Sina had recorded an accumulated unrealized loss of US$4.7 million from its investment in Sun Media Group, a Hong Kong listed company, but it believed that even if the losses became realized, it would not have a big impact on its cash flow.

The Internet business had US$208.2 million worth of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of September 30.

Company representatives estimated its total revenues for this quarter to be between US$35.2 million and US$36.2 million. Its diluted earnings per share are forecast to be 24 to 25 US cents.

Henry Yang, a senior industry analyst, believed that the growth of China's Internet industry was the biggest driving force for the rapid increase of the revenues of NASDAQ-listed Chinese Internet companies.

"The Internet has become an inseparable part of many Chinese businesses, so the importance of portals is also highlighted," said a top official of Shanghai iResearch Co Ltd.

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