Sina reports 10% revenue drop

Profits fall to $9.7 mil from $14.1 mil last year

HONG KONG -- Quarterly financial results for Sina, one of China's biggest online companies, showed the scars of global recession, even in one of the world's most robust markets.

In the three months to the end of March, advertising revenue dropped 10% to $43.2 million. That was also 38% down from the previous quarter. Non-ad-based services, mostly value added products sold to mobile phone users, were 30% up on a year ago, but 4% down on the previous three-month period.

Overall, NASDAQ-listed Sina reported revenues of $73.8 million, compared with $71.3 million, and net profits of $9.7 million that compared with $14.1 million for the same period last year.

"Although market visibility is still relatively low, we have seen improved confidence and sentiment among our advertisers," company CEO Charles Chao said.

Sina said it expects its previously announced acquisition of Focus Media Holding's digital out-of-home advertising networks to complete in the third quarter of the year.