51job, Inc. (
Q4 2011 Earnings Call
February 23, 2012 8:00 p.m. EST
Linda Chien – Head of IR
Rick Yan – President and CEO
Kathleen Chien – COO and Acting CFO
Philip Wan – Morgan Stanley
Tim McHugh – William Blair & Co.
Wendy Huang – Royal Bank of Scotland
Alicia Yap – Barclays Capital
Ming Zhao – SIG
Dick Wei – JP Morgan
Andy Zhao – Bank of America-Merrill Lynch
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Good morning and good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for holding. Welcome to the 51job, Inc. fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 conference call. (Operator Instructions).
I would now hand the conference over to Ms. Linda Chien, Head of the Investor Relations. Thank you, madam. Please go ahead.
Thank you, [Ming], and thank you all for attending this teleconference to discuss unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.
With me for today’s call are Rick Yan, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Kathleen Chien, Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Financial Officer.
A press release containing fourth quarter and full-year 2011 results was issued earlier today and a copy may be obtained throughout our website at ir.51job.com.
Before we begin, I would like to remind you that during this call statements regarding targets for the first quarter of 2012, future business and operating results constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21-E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as amended and as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon management’s current expectations and actual results could differ materially.
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 first quarter of 2012; any accounting adjustments that may occur during the quarterly close; fluctuations in the value of the renminbi against the US 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 volatilities; 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 Factors 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 first quarter of 2012 or as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Now I’ll turn the call over to Rick.
Thank you, Linda, and welcome to today’s call. I will begin with highlights of the fourth quarter and full-year 2011, followed by Kathleen with a more detailed review of our financial results. Then I would discuss current market conditions and our guidance. Afterwards, we’ll open the call to your questions.
Our fourth quarter results capped off a solid year of revenue and profit growth. Total revenues for the quarter were RMB370 million or approximately $59 million, a 23% increase over the year-ago quarter. Our non-GAAP diluted EPS came in at RMB2.14 or $0.68 per ADS.
Looking at each business area, our online revenue grew 39% year over year in the fourth quarter. As expected and forecasted into our guidance, we experienced some seasonal slowdown in recruitment activity at yearend, in line with historical patterns. In general, we observed that market demand and employment behavior for the full-year 2011 was largely similar to pre-financial crisis trends, a return to normalcy after two recovery years.
The bulk of new customers were weighted towards the first half of the year. As budgets were depleted by December, many HR managers looked forward to resuming their hiring post Chinese New Year.
Although the number of unique employers using online services increased 11% year over year, this figure decreased sequentially from the third to the fourth quarter like in many past years. As a result, revenue growth in the fourth quarter was primarily driven by 25% increase in average revenue per customer, which reflected the new rates introduced in April 2011 as well as competition for quality talent that drove employers to purchase more online services.
We also continued to see large employers with formalized annual recruitment plans remained aggressive spenders, while our smaller corporate customers were less active amid low seasonal demand and the overhang of economic uncertainty.
In our Other HR Services area, we had another standout quarter with revenues growing 33%. We saw a strong demand for our seasonal campus recruitment services, which demonstrated the increasing investment in human capital by large corporate, in particular to acquire the necessary talents to drive their companies forward. We also remained very pleased with the development of our outsourcing and training businesses as we expand our service footprint to more enterprises across China.
Because our recruitment services will always be susceptible to the ups and downs of the economic cycle, we believe our growing diversification into Other HR Services is therefore more important and prudent for our longer-term development. Other HR Services contributed more than one-third of revenues in the fourth quarter, and we believe we have tremendous opportunities to cross-sell our outsourcing, training and other services into our recruitment customer base.