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November 18, 2009

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Online ads lift Sina revenue

CHINA'S biggest Internet portal provider, Sina Corporation, yesterday posted better than expected revenue in the third quarter and quarterly improving profit as spending on online advertising increased.

Net profit was up 25 percent from the previous quarter to US$16.70 million. The figure was lower than US$18.9 million in the same period last year when the Olympics boosted online advertising.

Total revenue reached US$96.4 million. Online advertising contributed US$63.8 million in the period, up 10 percent from the previous quarter. Sina's online property platform merged with China Real Estate Information Corporation to form an online and offline real estate information and consulting platform and completed its IPO on the Nasdaq in October.

"Our strategy is to explore business opportunities by teaming up with other industry leaders," Sina CEO Charles Chao said.

The company raised US$216 million after the IPO by selling 18 million shares at US$12 per share.

The merger came after the Shanghai-based company scrapped its planned US$1.7 billion purchase of Focus Media's outdoor advertising assets in late September, citing the deal's inability to receive approval from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Chao and his management team bought 560 million new ordinary shares with US$180 million to hold a 9.4 percent stake and become the biggest shareholder in Sina.

The companies are still cooperating and Focus Media has launched an advertisement section at Sina's portal.

Sina estimates its total revenue for the fourth quarter to be between US$93 million and US$96 million after excluding advertising income from the real estate business.



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