Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ are the number of recruitment advertisements placed; sales orders received and customer contracts executed during the remaining weeks of the fourth quarter of 2011; any accounting adjustments that may occur during the quarterly close; fluctuations in the value of the renminbi against the U.S. dollar and other currencies; behavioral and operational changes of customers in meeting their human resource needs, as they respond to evolving social, economic and political changes in China, as well as stock market volatility; introduction by competitors of new or enhanced products or services; price competition in the market for the various human resource services that the company provides in China; acceptance of new products and services developed or introduced by the company outside of the human resources industry; and fluctuations in general economic conditions.
For additional information on these and other factors that may affect the company’s financial results, please refer to the Risk Factor section of the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 51job undertakes no obligation to update targets prior to announcing final results for the fourth quarter of 2011 or as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Now, I’ll turn the call over to Rick.
Rick YanThank you, Linda, and welcome, everyone, to today’s call. I will begin with highlights of the third quarter, followed by Kathleen with a detailed review of our financial results. Then I’ll discuss current market conditions and our guidance. Afterwards, we’ll open the call to your questions. Our third quarter performance was characterized by solid revenue growth and profitability. Total revenues for the third quarter was RMB343 million or approximately US54 million, a 26% increase over the year-ago quarter and on a similar trajectory as the first half of 2011 Leveraging scale economies, we expanded our gross margin, reaching a record high of 72.4% in the third quarter, despite continued investment in product development, head count additions and increased employee expenses.