Net profit at Chinese portal Sohu.com soared by nearly 140 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the same period last year as demand for uncensored mobile text messages surged.
Beating market expectations, the Nasdaq-listed company recorded a net profit of US$4.59 million for the first three months ending March. In the first quarter of last year, it suffered a US$2.2 million net loss. This marked the third quarter of profit for the company - in the four months up to December last year it made a net profit of US$1.93 million.
Sales revenue for the past three months was up by 36.4 per cent from the previous quarter to US$14.41 million, up 218 per cent year-on-year.
First-quarter results exceeded Sohu's own guidance of US$12.5 million in revenue and at least US$1.9 million in net profit.
Sohu credited the impressive results to strong growth in mobile-related text-messaging services, such as news alerts and mobile-chatting services.