Chinese search giant Baidu booked profit gains in Q2, as double-digit growth in new businesses mostly offset a decline in marketing revenue, though uncertainty around Covid-19 (coronavirus) impacting advertising demand.
In a statement, co-founder and CEO Robin Li said: “With Covid-19 becoming more manageable in China, Baidu’s business is steadily rebounding”. But the company issued a wide-ranging revenue forecast for Q3, expecting continued uncertainty.
Baidu estimated revenue will fall by up to 6 per cent or increase 2 per cent year-over-year, assuming core revenue declines 7 per cent or rises 3 per cent.
CFO Herman Yu said in addition to investing in new AI units during Q2, it also diversified its revenue streams through membership, online games and other businesses to increase the ARPU of its existing traffic.
Net profit jumped 48 per cent year-on-year to CNY3.6 billion ($515.2 million) on one-off gains, with total revenue dipping 1 per cent to CNY26.03 billion.
“We plan to continue heavy investments in technology to maximize Baidu’s future growth potential,” Yu added.
Online marketing revenue fell 8 per cent to CNY17.7 billion and its other category rose 18 per cent to CNY8.3 billion on growth of iQIYI membership, and cloud and smart transportation services.
Average daily active users rose 8.5 per cent to 204 million. MAUs of its Smart Mini Program reached 339 million, up 25 per cent, and iQIYI subscribers increased 4 per cent to 106.9 million.
R&D expenses were up 2 per cent to CNY4.8 billion.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back