Chinese Internet search engine Baidu.com (BIDU) said total revenues in the first quarter of 2008 increased to CNY574.4 million, representing a 108.4% increase from the corresponding period in 2007, as it announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008.

"This was another excellent quarter for Baidu," said Robin Li, Baidu's chairman and CEO. "Our revenue growth remained strong and is an indication of our ability to execute our strategy of providing the best possible user experience and service to our customers. Instrumental to our growth were the ceaseless efforts of our sales force and customer service teams who continued to deliver strong results despite a long Chinese New Year holiday and severe snow storms across large parts of China. In addition, a larger customer base contributed to strong organic and Baidu Union growth."

Operating profit in the first quarter of 2008 increased to CNY147.4 million, representing a 99.6% increase from the corresponding period in 2007. Net income in the first quarter of 2008 increased to CNY146.6 million, representing a 71.5% increase from the corresponding period in 2007.

Online marketing revenues for the first quarter were CNY572.7 million, representing a 108.5% increase from the first quarter of 2007. The growth was mainly driven by increases in the number of active online marketing customers as well as revenue per customer. Baidu had nearly 161,000 active online marketing customers in the first quarter of 2008, representing a sequential increase of 3.9% and an increase of 43.8% from the corresponding period in 2007. Revenue per online marketing customer for the first quarter remained stable sequentially at approximately CNY3,600, and increased approximately 44.0% from the corresponding period in 2007.

Traffic acquisition costs as a component of cost of revenues were CNY76.6 million, representing 13.3% of total revenues, compared to 10.3% in the corresponding period in 2007. The increase in TAC as a percentage of total revenues primarily reflects the continued growth of revenue contribution from Baidu Union members.

Operating profit was CNY147.4 million, representing a 99.6% increase from the corresponding period in 2007. Net income was CNY146.6 million, representing a 71.5% increase from the corresponding period in 2007. Basic and diluted EPS for the first quarter of 2008 amounted to CNY4.29 and CNY4.22, respectively.

As of March 31, 2008, Baidu's cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments amounted to CNY1.7 billion. Baidu currently expects to generate total revenues in an amount ranging from CNY780 million to CNY800 million for the second quarter of 2008, representing a 94.4% to 99.4% increase from the corresponding period in 2007 and a 35.8% to 39.3% increase from the first quarter of 2008.

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