Chinese Internet media firm Sohu.com reported a rise in quarterly profits that was above their expectations, reflecting the surging sales of online advertising and data services for mobile phones.

Sohu.com posted a 3Q net profit of US$2.67 million, or seven cents per diluted share, compared with US$112,000, or nil per diluted share, in the same quarter of 2002. Revenue soared 194% to US$22.1 million in the third quarter, compared to US$7.5 million a year ago.

"Online advertising continues to exceed our expectations," Charles Zhang, Sohu's founder and chief executive, told analysts. "Companies now understand that Sohu has developed into a leading mainstream online media asset." Sohu, whose shares have soared more than 14-fold in the past year, also profited from mobile phone downloads such as ringtones, logos and news. "Chinese consumers are demanding more value-added services besides voice," said Zhang.

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