China’s leading online media, search, gaming, community and mobile service group, Sohu.com Inc., reported this week unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2015. Total revenues were USD 1.9 Billion, up 16% compared with 2014, a new high in Sohu’s operating history.
Dr. Charles Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Sohu.com Inc., commented, “We ended 2015 with a solid quarter as both top-line and bottom-line results were better than our prior expectation. For the full year of 2015, despite the weak macro condition and adverse foreign exchange impact, we managed to deliver steady growth. Total revenues set a new record at $1.9 billion, up 16% from 2014. For Sohu Media Portal, while the slowdown of the economy shrank the budget of traditional brand advertisers, the rapid growth of revenues from Small & Medium Enterprises (“SME”) customers helped offset the impact. For Sohu Video, its 2015 total revenues rose 33% from 2014 as non-advertising business gained encouraging traction. Sogou grew annual revenue to a new record high while achieving a sizeable profit. Changyou’s full year revenues reached $762 million, the highest in its history, and its profit rebounded substantially as the result of effective cost control measures.”
Chinese online group Sohu.com reduced its losses in 2015 as revenues increased by 16%. But the outlook for its video operations are unclear. The NASDAQ-listed group which spans portals, video streaming, search, and games, saw net losses attributable to shareholders of $50 million, compared with losses of $166 million in calendar 2014.
The Online game revenue in 2015 were US$ 637 million, down 2% compared with 2014. Online game revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 were US$127 million, down 31% year-over-year and 17% quarter-over-quarter. The year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter decreases were mainly due to the natural decline in revenues of older games, such as TLBB 3D and TLBB, and a decrease in Web game revenue as a result of the sale of the 7Road business in the third quarter of 2015. The outlook for online games revenue for Sohu.com should be between US$95 million and US$105 million. This implies a sequential decrease of 17% to 25% and an annual decrease of 43% to 49%.
Revenues of Sohu Video were $213 million, up 21% compared with 2014. (Elsewhere in the earnings statement the company said: “For Sohu Video, its 2015 total revenues rose 33% from 2014 as non-advertising business gained encouraging traction.”) In the October to December quarter revenues of Sohu Video were $51 million, up 1% year-over-year and down 8% quarter-over-quarter.