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51job.com Announces Online Job Search Revenue For Q1 2008

Chinese online recruitment website 51job.com (JOBS) just announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2008 ended March 31, 2008 and said total revenues increased 17.9% from a year ago to CNY236.4 million.

Gross profit for the first quarter of 2008 was CNY124.8 million, representing an increase of 19.4% from CNY104.5 million for the same quarter of the prior year. Gross margin, which is equal to gross profit divided by net revenues, was 55.7% in the first quarter of 2008 compared with 55.2% in the same quarter in 2007.

51job's President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Yan said in a prepared statement, "We view 2008 as an important year of investment for 51job and are dedicating significant resources aimed at strengthening our brand, improving customer service, developing new products and increasing efficiency. We believe these efforts will enable us to extend our market leadership position and build a solid foundation for long-term growth."

The company also has a significant offline operation, and it said print advertising revenues for the first quarter of 2008 increased 7.8% to CNY122.4 million compared with CNY113.6 million for the same quarter in 2007. The increase was primarily the result of a greater volume of advertisements in 51job Weekly which was partially offset by lower average revenue per page. The estimated number of print advertising pages generated in the first quarter of 2008 grew 15.6% to 4,593 compared with 3,974 pages in the same quarter in 2007. Average revenue per page in the first quarter of 2008 decreased 6.7% over the same quarter in 2007 due to growing revenue contribution from lower priced cities.

Online recruitment services revenues for the first quarter of 2008 were CNY78.4 million, representing a 27.4% growth from CNY61.6 million for the same quarter of the prior year. The increase was mainly attributable to the growth in the number of employers using the company's online services. Unique employers using the company's online recruitment services increased 25.8% to 60,461 in the first quarter of 2008 compared with 48,070 in the same quarter of the prior year.

Operating expenses for the first quarter of 2008 increased 37.5% to CNY86.2 million (US$12.3 million) from CNY62.7 million for the same quarter of 2007 due primarily to higher sales and marketing expenses. Operating expenses as a percentage of net revenues was 38.5% for the first quarter of 2008 compared with 33.1% for the first quarter of 2007. Excluding share-based compensation expense, operating expenses as a percentage of net revenues was 36.1% in the first quarter of 2008 compared with 29.8% in the first quarter of 2007.

Net income for the first quarter of 2008 decreased 30.8% to CNY22.2 million from CNY32.2 million for the same quarter in 2007. As of March 31, 2008, the company's cash balance was CNY1.023 billion compared with CNY1.007 billion at December 31, 2007.

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