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51job's CEO Discusses Q1 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We have employers across all geographies utilizing our established sales office network to further penetrate existing markets and our Wuhan call center to serve employers in new cities. This two pronged approach has enabled us to acquire new customers more effectively and efficiently than ever. Our print advertising business also performed well in the first quarter. Although, we have discontinued publications in six cities since the beginning of 2010 through the first quarter of 2011; print revenues were better than expected and decreased by 6% due to the exceptionally strong seasonal demand in the post Chinese New Year period.

In our other HR services business we make steady progress in continuing to gain customer attraction. Revenues for the other HR services increased 25% led by growth in outsourcing and training services. While we are very pleased with our top line the greater accomplishment of the first quarter was the meaningful margin expansion that resulted from the revenue of the performance. The record margin efforts highlight the powerful economies of scale and scope we have built into our service model.

Through unrelenting operational discipline and a consistent focus on efficiency improvement which drove gross margin to 70% and operating margin to 35% despite absorbing higher employee compensation expenses and investing in product development and technology innovation. Since our inception 13 years ago we have not wavered from our guiding management principle to realize sustainable profitable growth for our shareholders. We believe this first quarter financial results reflect our continued progress towards this goal.

I would now turn over the call to Kathleen for more detailed financial review.

Kathleen Chien

Thank you, Rick. Revenues for the first quarter totaled RMB325 million, a 28% increase compared to the same quarter in 2010. Our online revenues for the first quarter were RMB173 million, an increase of 57% compared to the same quarter in 2010. The number of unique employers using our online services increased 38% year over year to nearly 155,000 companies in the first quarter due to the strong market demand and our customer acquisition efforts. We also saw a 14% increase in the average revenue per online customer compared to the year ago quarter as employers faced greater competition for talent and thus purchase more services to meet their recruitment targets.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

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