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October 27, 2009

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Sohu posts mixed financial results in Q3

SOHU.COM Inc, a major Chinese Web portal, said yesterday that quarterly earnings fell 15 percent from a year earlier on lower revenue from its online games unit, while total sales rose to a record.

Profit for the three months ended September 30 was US$34.4 million, or 88 cents per share, the Beijing-based company said. That compared with a US$40.3 million profit in the same quarter of 2008.

Profit fell as Sohu factored out a portion of the revenues for its game unit,, which went public in April.

Sohu's total sales rose 13 percent from a year earlier to a record US$136.6 million.

Sohu offers entertainment, games, a search service and mobile value-added services.

"We remain confident that our online game business will retain its leadership position while continuing to capture additional market share," chairman and CEO Charles Zhang said in a statement.

Chinese Web services have continued to report revenue growth this year as a government stimulus plan helps to buoy consumer spending despite the global economic slowdown.

China has the world's biggest population of Internet users, with 338 million people online as of the end of June, according to the government. The figure, already larger than the entire United States population, is still growing at double-digit annual rates.

Sohu said it expects fourth-quarter revenue of US$134.5 million to US$138.5 million. It forecasts fourth-quarter game revenue of US$69 million to US$71 million.



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