Chinese online jobs website provider 51job Inc. announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2010 ended March 31, 2010.

Total revenues increased 42.6% over the first quarter of 2009 to RMB254.3 million, and gross margin expanded to 64.3% compared with 56.1% in the first quarter of 2009.

Rick Yan, president and CEO, said, "Despite a late Chinese New Year which fell in mid February, the high level of recruitment activity in the post-holiday period drove better than expected revenues, which resulted in significant margin expansion and profitability in the first quarter. We observed strong market demand as many employers emerged from last year's challenging conditions with a renewed focus on growth and aggressive hiring targets. During the quarter, we also continued to acquire customers for our online business at a rapid pace. Led by this robust online segment and combined with a seasonal rebound in our print business and steady development in our other HR services, our solid first quarter results give us confidence for a successful 2010."

Print advertising revenues for the first quarter of 2010 increased 30.9% to RMB92.4 million compared with RMB70.6 million for the same quarter in 2009. The increase was primarily due to higher average revenue per page as well as a greater volume of print advertising pages. Although print advertising prices in each city remained relatively unchanged, overall average revenue per page increased 22.3% over the first quarter of 2009 due to an increase in page volume contribution from higher priced cities as compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Despite the termination of print operations in the cities of Tianjin and Hefei in the first quarter of this year, the estimated number of print advertising pages generated in the first quarter of 2010 increased 7.0% to 3,120 compared with 2,916 pages in the same quarter in 2009 resulting from an improvement in market demand.

Online recruitment services revenues for the first quarter of 2010 were RMB109.7 million, representing a 60.8% increase from RMB68.2 million for the same quarter of the prior year. The increase primarily resulted from a greater number of unique employers using the company's online recruitment services via 51job.com, which was partially offset by lower average revenue per unique employer. Unique employers increased 76.3% to 112,245 in the first quarter of 2010 compared with 63,684 in the same quarter of the prior year driven by greater customer acceptance and usage of online recruitment services.

Net income for the first quarter of 2010 increased to RMB50.4 million from RMB9.4 million for the same quarter in 2009.

As of March 31, 2010, the company had cash and short-term investments totaling RMB1.274 billion.

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