Trade group benefits from Sars

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 12:00am

Worldwide trade facilitator Global Sources said China-related inquiries last month rose 40 per cent year-on-year despite Beijing's official acknowledgment of the seriousness of the Sars outbreak.

Chairman Merle Hinrichs said the disease would stimulate business because more customers would trade through virtual media after cancelling trips to Asia and the mainland.

'[Sars] has stimulated interest in our services, and the number of the suppliers [using the services] also increased,' Mr Hinrichs said.

Online operations, through which the company helps match 385,000 buyers in 230 countries and territories with suppliers, accounted for 60 per cent of revenue.

The Nasdaq-listed firm posted a 49 per cent year-on-year gain in net profit to US$1.51 million for the first quarter of this year.

Revenue slipped 0.92 per cent year-on-year to US$21.6 million from US$21.8 million a year earlier.

The first-quarter gain was achieved with the help of cost controls, increased interest income and a growing China business, which rose 16 per cent year-on-year in revenue terms.

The company derives 40 per cent of its total revenues from China, with business contributing 38 per cent of revenue last year.