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Baidu profit rises on higher ad spending

BAIDU Inc, the Chinese language search provider, said yesterday its profit for the second quarter jumped nearly 50 percent as the economic recovery boosted spending by advertisers.

Its net income from April to June was US$56.1 million, or US$1.61 per share, up 44.6 percent from the same period last year.

Its revenue totaled US$160.7 million, a 36.7 percent increase year on year.

The firm said that online marketing activities contributed US$160.6 million in the second quarter, a surge of 36.7 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The number of its active online marketing customers reached 203,000 by the end of June, an annual rise of 12.1 percent.

Baidu forecast its revenue in the third quarter at between US$184 million and US$189 million, a 15 percent to 18 percent jump from the same quarter a year earlier.

Baidu launched an improved bidding platform, "Phoenix Nest," for its online marketing customers on April 20. It is a platform that offers enhanced tools for managing marketing budget as well as analyzing data.

"We're very satisfied with the new system but it's too early to say it can boost our revenue," Robin Li, chairman and CEO of Baidu, said in a conference call yesterday.

The number of China's Internet users exceeded 300 million to reach 338 million on the mainland by the end of June, according to a report released on July 15 by Beijing-based China Internet Network Information Center.

Baidu's share of China's search market was 74.1 percent in the first quarter, said iResearch Inc, a Shanghai-based consultant. Google took only 20.9 percent in the same period.



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