Baidu Q1 Profit Soars by 76 Percent

Baidu, China's largest search engine, saw its first-quarter net profit increase by 75.9 percent year over year, mainly on account of an increase in its small and medium enterprise customers.

For the quarter ended March 31, Baidu's profit reached 1.88 billion yuan (US$299 million), up from 1.07 billion yuan in the same quarter last year. The search giant's revenue for the quarter rose by 75 percent from last year, to 4.26 billion yuan.

Baidu's active online marketing customers reached 321,000 for the quarter, up 17.2 percent from a year earlier. The company projects total revenues for the second quarter will increase in the range of 56.2 percent to 59.9 percent year over year.

Baidu, which generates revenue from selling ads, has dominated China's search market with about 80 percent share of the market, according to analytics website CNZZ.com. The company has regularly posted strong earnings, with profits sometimes doubling.

Last week, however, Baidu saw a setback in its e-commerce ambitions. Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten announced it would close an online shopping mall site it operated with Baidu, citing a failure to meet expectations and increased competition from rivals.

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