Chinese internet giant Baidu forecast revenue growth in the current quarter after booking strong profit and revenue gains in the final period of 2020 on the back of increased investments in its cloud platform, autonomous driving, smart transportation and AI-based services.
The company expects Q1 revenue of between CNY26 billion ($4 billion) and CNY28.5 billion, some 15 per cent to 26 per cent higher than Q1 2020, with its core businesses growing by 26 per cent to 37 per cent. The guidance does not include any contribution from a planned acquisition of live streaming service YY Live.
Co-founder and CEO Robin Li said it ended 2020 on a solid note, benefitting from an improving macroeconomic environment and the digitalisation of the industrial internet, noting “our focus on innovation through technology is paying off”.
In Q4, net profit increased 18 per cent year-on-year to CNY5.17 billion and revenue rose 5 per cent to CNY30.3 billion.
Online marketing revenue was flat at CNY18.9 billion, with its cloud business and other new services driving a 52 per percent increase on non-marketing revenue to CNY4.2 billion.
CFO Herman Yu said its business returned to growth despite an unprecedented year, and Q4 profits were solid. “We will continue to invest heavily in technology to optimise Baidu’s long-term growth.”
Monthly active users (MAUs) hit 544 million in December 2020.
MAUs of its Smart Mini Program increased 31 per cent to 414 million, with iQIYI down 4.9 per cent to 101.7 million.
Across the full year, R&D spending increased 19 per cent to CNY5.7 billion, mainly due to an increase in personnel related expenses.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back