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Online games a winner for

SOHU.COM Inc has reported a growth in second-quarter earnings with the strong performance of its online game operations.

Net income rose 16 percent to US$49 million, or 90 US cents a share. Total revenue added 25 percent year on year to reach US$127.1 million.

"Our online game sector continued to be an ideal complement to our portal business under a difficult economic environment," said Charles Zhang, Sohu's chairman and CEO.

The online game sector contributed US$66.6 million to the revenue, up 39 percent year on year or 8 percent quarter on quarter. Brand advertising added 5 percent from the year-earlier period to US$43.6 million. Ltd, the subsidiary of Sohu which operates its online game business, reported a US$40.2 million profit in the second quarter, up 24 percent from a year ago. It had a total of 69.1 million registered accounts as of June 30, a 53-percent surge from the same period last year.

China's Internet users reached 338 million by the end of last month, according to a report by the Beijing-based China Internet Network Information Center. About 64 percent, or 217 million net users, played online games in the past six months.

The market revenue of domestic online game operators in the first quarter was 6.16 billion yuan, up 32.5 percent from a year earlier, and is expected to reach 31.1 billion yuan this year, according to iResearch Inc.



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