Chinese search engine Baidu.com says its Internet advertising revenue increased and the future looks bright as it announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009.

Total revenues in the first quarter of 2009 were CNY810.7 million, a 41.1% increase from the corresponding period in 2008. Net income for the quarter was CNY181.1 million, a 23.5% increase from the corresponding period in 2008.

Baidu currently expects to generate total revenues in an amount ranging from CNY1.07-1.10 billion ($157 million) to CNY1,100 million ($161 million) for the second quarter of 2009, representing a 32% to 36% sequential increase.

Online marketing revenues for the first quarter of 2009 were CNY810.2 million representing a 41.5% increase from the corresponding period in 2008. Baidu had more than 185,000 active online marketing customers in the first quarter of 2009, representing a 14.9% increase from the corresponding period in 2008 and a 6.1% decrease from the previous quarter. Revenue per online marketing customer for the first quarter was approximately CNY4,400, a 22.2% increase from the corresponding period in 2008 and a decrease of 4.3% from the previous quarter. The sequential decreases were primarily due to the usual seasonality associated with the Chinese New Year, a weaker economy, and the carry-over effect of the actions Baidu took near the end of 2008 to improve the quality of its customer base.

As of March 31, 2009, the Company had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of CNY2.8 billion.

For growth, on April 15, 2009, as a part of Project Aladdin, an initiative aimed at improving search comprehensiveness by uncovering useful parts of the hidden web, Baidu launched the beta version of an open data sharing platform. The new platform allows webmasters and developers to submit data to Baidu in order to generate direct search results for dynamic information. On April 20, 2009, the company publicly launched Baidu Online Marketing Professional Edition, also known as Phoenix Nest, an enhanced bidding platform for online marketing customers.

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