Chinese portal Sohu says profit down, revenue up

February 4, 2013 Inc., which operates a popular Chinese Internet portal, said Monday its quarterly profit fell 9 percent as rising expenses offset strong revenue growth for online games.

The company earned $23 million, or 60 U.S. cents per share, in the three months ending Dec. 31. Revenue rose 22 percent from a year earlier to a record $229 million, driven by a 29 percent rise in online game revenue to $158.9 million.

Beijing-based Sohu operates online media, search, gaming and community services.

Chinese Internet companies have seen revenues improve as the country's economic growth rebounds from a three-year low last year but face high costs for technology development and bandwidth.

For the full year, Sohu's profit fell 49 percent from 2011 to $78 million, or $2.03 per share. Revenues rose 25 percent to just over $1 billion.

"Despite the slowdown in China's economic growth, I'm pleased that the Sohu Group's total annual revenues rose 25 percent year-on-year and surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time in our history," said chairman Charles Zhang in a statement.

Expenses rose 12 percent to $141.5 million driven by higher costs for staff and marketing.

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