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Chinese job board and HR provider 51job Inc. (JOBS:NSQ) saw a small decline in first-quarter revenue which fell -0.1% to RMB 380.4 million (USD 61.2 million), the firm reported Thursday. This was within the company's guidance range.
Rick Yan, President and Chief Executive Officer of 51job, said the late Chinese New Year holiday delayed the recruitment peak season and affected revenue developments in the quarter. But the firm has since noted improved trading conditions.
“We were able to capture in the first quarter, we have observed a solid increase in hiring activity and improved sentiment among employers in 2013. The acceleration in the growth of online employers was especially encouraging as we stepped up our customer acquisition efforts and strengthened our market leadership position,” he said.
Online recruitment services revenues in the period increased +8.3% in the quarter to RMB 248.0 million (USD 39.9 million). Other human resource related revenues increased +3.5% to RMB 107.5 million (USD17.3 million).
Gross profit in the three months to March grew +0.8% to RMB 265.4 million (USD 42.7 million). The gross margin increased to 72.8% from 72.4% year-on-year. Income from operations was RMB 115.5 million (USD 18.6 million), a -11.7% decrease compared to a year ago. Net income was down nearly -10% to RMB 108.8 million (US$17.5 million).
In Thursday’s trading session, the company’s share price was up +1.5% to USD 60.42, an increase of +8% from a year ago. Based on this stock price, the firm has a market value of USD 1.76 billion.
51job Inc. is listed on the New York stock exchange and provides recruitment related services and human resource services, such as business process outsourcing and executive search.