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Online games boost Sohu net profit

A strong performance in its online game business helped Inc to post a 87-percent jump in profit in the first quarter from a year earlier.

Net profit in the first three months was US$46.9 million, or US$1.20 per share, the company said in a statement yesterday. Its total revenue climbed 36 percent year on year to US$115.7 million but it was 5 percent lower from the previous quarter.

"The online game business continued to show strong growth momentum and this offset the temporary impact on our portal business brought by the slowing economy in China," said Charles Zhang, chairman and CEO of Sohu.

Online games contributed US$61.6 million to its total revenue, a 50-percent jump year on year, or 6 percent on a quarter-on-quarter basis. The figure also exceeds a previous estimate by the company of between US$58 million and US$60 million.

Revenue from brand advertising was US$39.1 million, down 13 percent from the previous quarter but was up 18 percent from the same period last year.

The firm estimates its second-quarter revenue between US$121 million and US$125 million and revenue from online games between US$63 million and US$65 million.

Its active paying accounts rose 50 percent to 2.27 million by the end of March.

The two massive multiplayer online role-playing games run by Changyou, namely Tian Long Ba Bu and Blade Online, generated most of the revenue., the spin-off from Sohu's online game business, was listed on the Nasdaq on April 7.



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