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Baidu's net surges 36%, revenue up 42%

Baidu's net surges 36%, revenue up 42%

Net profit at Baidu, China's largest search engine operator, surged 36.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year to 2.80 billion yuan (US$449 million).

Its revenue jumped 41.6 percent to 6.34 billion yuan in the three months ended December 31, the company said in a stock exchange filing yesterday.

Its operating expenses jumped 24 percent to 2.85 billion yuan last quarter as marketing expenses rose and the firm spent more on research and development.

Baidu sees sales to grow from 38.1 percent to 42.6 percent annually in the first quarter of this year to between 5.9 billion yuan and 6.1 billion yuan.

By the end of the third quarter Baidu had a 79 percent share by revenue of China's search engine market followed by Google's 15.4 percent, said research firm Analysys International.

Facing pressure from Qihoo 360 and Sohu's search affiliate Sogou, Baidu has been trying to extend its dominance to the mobile Internet segment to tap the rising number of people using smartphones to read and search for news.

Baidu's CEO Robin Li said in a conference call yesterday that the company would continue its efforts to enhance the mobile search experience.

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