Chinese web portal Sohu.com said revenue hit a total of $515.2 million last year, 20 percent more than it managed to turn over in 2008. Net profit without contributions from the stake in Chinese online game maker Changyou totalled $139.3 million. In the fourth quarter, Sohu.com’s revenues reached $135.8 million, one percent less than in the third quarter, yet an increase of 12 percent year over year.
Advertising revenue increased by just two percent in the fourth quarter and was $45.9 million. Sohu.com however managed to grow sales of its online games. Revenue in that area totalled $70.7 million, an increase of 21 percent compared to the same period of 2008.
Wireless revenues were hit by China Mobile’s refusal to bill its customers for WAP services. Whilst wireless services revenue did increase six percent over the course of the last 12 months to $15.7 million, it fell by seven percent sequentially. China Mobile halted billig WAP services to aid Great Leader in removing smut and content worthy of censorship from mobile phones and WAP portals. Net profit sans Changyou was $29.4 million.
Sohu.com expects its net profit to be somewhere in the range of $45 million to $47.5 million in the first quarter, whilst revenue is estimated to decrease to around $123 million to $128 million. Sohu’s CFO Carol Yu blathered how well her employer had done despite the “challenging economic environment of 2009”. She naturally believes Sohu will do well this year and give its shareholders a nice return on investment, something which Sohu’s former competitor Google was unable to deliver in Greater China.