Days before one of China's largest travel weeks begins, Ctrip.com (CTRP) has announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2005. Net revenues were US$11.7 million in the first quarter, up 51% year-on-year, and operating income was US$4.7 million in the first quarter of 2005, up 53% year-on-year.

Ctrip's net income was US$4.8 million in the first quarter of 2005, up 82% year-on-year. Fully diluted earnings per ADS were US$0.30. Gross margin remained robust at 85% in the first quarter of 2005, compared to the same period in 2004.

For the first quarter of 2005, Ctrip reported total revenues of CNY103.3 million (US$12.5 million), representing a 52% increase from the same period in 2004. It decreased by 1% from the fourth quarter of 2004, primarily due to seasonality.

Hotel reservation revenues totaled US$8.5 million in the first quarter of 2005, representing a 29% increase from the same period in 2004. Hotel reservation revenues decreased by 10% from the fourth quarter of 2004, primarily due to a lower hotel transaction volume in the first quarter of 2005 as a result of weaker seasonality caused by subdued demand for business travel during the Chinese New Year holiday. The total number of hotel room nights booked was approximately 1.10 million for the first quarter of 2005, compared to approximately 850,000 room nights for the same period in 2004 and approximately 1.19 million room nights in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Air ticket booking revenues for the first quarter of 2005 were US$3.5 million, representing a 177% increase from the same period in 2004 and a 32% increase from the fourth quarter of 2004 as a result of strong volume growth accompanied by a rise in average commission per ticket. The total number of air tickets sold in the first quarter of 2005 was approximately 680,000, compared to approximately 310,000 for the same period in 2004 and approximately 540,000 air tickets sold in the fourth quarter of 2004.

As of March 31, 2005, cash balance increased slightly to US$74.6 million, compared to US$74.4 million as of December 31, 2004, as cash flow from operating activities and proceeds received from the exercise of employee stock options were largely offset by capital expenditures during the first quarter of 2005.

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