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November 26, 2009

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Internet game firm scores Q3 profit win

GIANT Interactive Group Inc reported yesterday that its third-quarter profit increased by half thanks to growing player numbers and rising income from its core game, ZT Online.

Giant, the country's third-largest online game company, also said it expects to launch at least eight additional products soon.

The company reported net profit of 197.4 million yuan (US$28.9 million) in the third quarter, up 47 percent from a year ago. Revenue grew 9.4 percent to 290.2 million yuan, slightly beating analysts' forecasts.

Giant's gross margin rose to 84.3 percent from 80.1 percent a year ago. Its active paying accounts for online games hit 1.1 million, up 18 percent.

Giant expects revenue to be under pressure during the fourth quarter, but the launch of the new games is expected to boost results in the first half of 2010.

"In the third quarter, we continued to prepare the games in our pipeline for commercial tests," Shi Yuzhu, Giant's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement to the media.

The new games, including ZT Online Green Edition, XT Online and King of Kings III, recently entered limited beta testing.

In the third quarter, China's game firms continued their high growth rate, with industry revenue jumping 34.5 percent year on year to 7.17 billion yuan, according to Shanghai-based Internet consulting company iResearch Inc.

Exports from Chinese game firms are expected to reach 830 million yuan this year, 38 percent on-year growth. Exports will expand about 30 percent annually in the next few years, according to iResearch.



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