The9 Limited Reports First and Second Quarter 2012 Unaudited Financial Results

SHANGHAI, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The9 Limited (NASDAQ: NCTY) ("The9"), an online game developer and operator, announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012 and the second quarter ended June 30, 2012 today.

Financial Highlights:

First Quarter 2012

  • Net revenues in the first quarter of 2012 amounted to RMB48.6 million (US$7.7 million), representing an increase of 74% from RMB27.9 million (US$4.4 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and an increase of 89% from RMB25.8 million (US$4.1 million) in the first quarter of 2011 mainly due to an increase in net revenues from Shen Xian Zhuan, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
  • Net loss attributable to holders of ordinary shares in the first quarter of 2012 amounted to RMB111.4 million (US$17.5 million), representing a decrease of 12% from RMB126.0 million (US$19.8 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011, mainly due to the increase in net revenues; and an increase of 112% from RMB52.6 million (US$8.3 million) in the first quarter of 2011, mainly due to increases in marketing expenses and product development expenses.

Second Quarter 2012

  • Net revenues in the second quarter of 2012 amounted to RMB54.8 million (US$8.6 million), representing an increase of 13% from RMB48.6 million (US$7.7 million) in the first quarter of 2012 and an increase of 115% from RMB25.5 million (US$4.0 million) in the second quarter of 2011, mainly due to an increase in net revenues from Shen Xian Zhuan.
  • Net loss attributable to holders of ordinary shares in the second quarter of 2012 amounted to RMB118.0 million (US$18.6 million), representing an increase of 6% from RMB111.4 million (US$17.5 million) in the first quarter of 2012, mainly due to an increase in product development expenses; and an increase of 881% from the second quarter of 2011 from RMB12.0 million (US$1.9 million), mainly due to recognition of a gain on the disposal of an investment in the second quarter of 2011.

Management Comments:

Jun Zhu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The9 said, "We have a very high level of confidence in the two Massively Multiplayer Online shooting games in our pipeline. Firefall just released the biggest patch update ever in early August and received highly positive feedback from gamers. Firefall will be commercialized in the U.S. very soon and Red 5 will release more beta invites in the U.S. to attract more gamers to join Firefall.  Red 5 has also set up a subsidiary in Ireland in May 2012 to prepare for the launch in Europe. Planetside 2 is another well-known game for which we obtained the license in China. Planetside 2 is already in closed beta in the U.S.  We are now localizing the game in China and plan to start the internal technical test in China by the end of this year. We believe these two robust games in our pipeline will significantly strengthen our capability in achieving further growth. "

Discussion of The9's Unaudited First and Second Quarter 2012 Results

Net Revenues

Our net revenues in the first quarter of 2012 amounted to RMB48.6 million (US$7.7 million), representing an increase of 74% from RMB27.9 million (US$4.4 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and an increase of 89% from RMB25.8 million (US$4.1 million) in the first quarter of 2011. These increases were primarily due to an increase in net revenues from Shen Xian Zhuan.

Our net revenues in the second quarter of 2012 amounted to RMB54.8 million (US$8.6 million), representing an increase of 13% from RMB48.6 million (US$7.7 million) in the first quarter of 2012 and an increase of 115% from RMB25.5 million (US$4.0 million) in the second quarter of 2011. These increases were also primarily due to an increase in net revenues from Shen Xian Zhuan.

Gross Profit

Our gross profit in the first quarter of 2012 amounted to RMB32.8 million (US$5.2 million), representing an increase of 147% from RMB13.3 million (US$2.1 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and an increase of 18% from RMB27.7 million (US$4.4 million) in the first quarter of 2011. The increases in gross profit primarily reflected a lower level of royalty incurred as we generated a majority of net revenues in the first quarter of this year from Shen Xian Zhuan, our self-developed game.

Our gross profit in the second quarter of 2012 amounted to RMB38.8 million (US$6.1 million), representing an increase of 18% from RMB32.8 million (US$5.2 million) in the first quarter of 2012 and an increase by 206% from RMB12.7 million (US$2.0 million) in the second quarter of 2011. The increases in gross profit primarily reflected a lower level of royalty incurred as we generated a majority of revenues in the second quarter of this year from Shen Xian Zhuan, our self-developed game.

Operating Expenses

In the first quarter of 2012, our operating expenses were RMB154.9 million (US$24.4 million), representing an 11% increase from RMB140.2 million (US$22.1 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and a 68% increase from RMB92.1 million (US$14.5 million) in the first quarter of 2011. These increases in operating expenses were primarily due to an increase in marketing expenses relating to Firefall and Shen Xian Zhuan, as well as an increase in development expenses primarily relating to our mobile internet business and Firefall.

In the first quarter of 2012, share-based compensation was RMB9.0 million (US$1.4 million), compared to RMB10.0 million (US$$1.6 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and RMB16.4 million (US$2.6 million) in the first quarter of 2011.

In the second quarter of 2012, our operating expenses were RMB168.8 million (US$26.6 million), representing a 9% increase from RMB154.9 million (US$24.4 million) in the first quarter of 2012 and a 63% increase from RMB103.6 million (US$16.3 million) in the second quarter of 2011. The quarter-over-quarter increase was primarily due to an increase in product development expenses relating to Red 5 and our mobile internet business. The year-over-year increase was primarily due to an increase in product development expenses relating to Red 5 and our mobile internet business and an increase in marketing expenses relating to Firefall and Shen Xian Zhuan.

In the second quarter of 2012, share-based compensation was RMB8.9 million (US$1.4 million), compared to RMB9.0 million (US$1.4 million) in the first quarter of 2012 and RMB16.1 million (US$2.5 million) in the second quarter of 2011.

Interest Income

Interest income in the first quarter of 2012 was RMB6.8 million (US$1.1 million), compared to RMB7.1 million (US$1.1 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and RMB7.2 million (US$1.1 million) in the first quarter of 2011.

Interest income in the second quarter of 2012 was RMB6.5 million (US$1.0 million), compared to RMB6.8 million (US$1.1 million) in the first quarter of 2012 and RMB7.5 million (US$1.2 million) in the second quarter of 2011. The decreases were due to decreases in cash balance.

Other (Expenses) Income, net

Other income in the first quarter of 2012 was RMB0.9 million (US$0.1 million), compared to other expenses of RMB0.8 million (US$0.1 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and other expenses of RMB0.9 million (US$0.1 million) in the first quarter of 2011. Other income in the first quarter of 2012 primarily reflected  subsidy received as well as foreign exchange gains. Other expenses in the first and fourth quarters of 2011 primarily reflected foreign exchange losses.

Other income in the second quarter of 2012 was RMB1.6 million (US$0.3 million), compared to other income of RMB0.9 million (US$0.1 million) in the first quarter of 2012 and other income of RMB6.7 million (US$1.1 million) in the second quarter of 2011. Other income in the second quarter of 2012 primarily reflected insurance compensation in connection with computer servers and foreign exchange gains. Other income in the second quarter of 2011 was primarily the result of settlement fee income attributable to certain lawsuits.

Net Loss attributable to holders of ordinary shares

In the first quarter of 2012, net loss attributable to holders of ordinary shares was RMB111.4 million (US$17.5 million), representing a 12% decrease from RMB126.0 million (US$19.8 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and a 112% increase from RMB52.6 million (US$8.3 million) in the first quarter of 2011.

Fully diluted loss per share and per ADS in the first quarter of 2012 was RMB4.55 (US$0.72), compared to RMB5.14 (US$0.81) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and RMB2.09 (US$0.33) in the first quarter of 2011.

In the second quarter of 2012, net loss attributable to holders of ordinary shares was RMB118.0 million (US$18.6 million), representing a 6% increase from RMB111.4 million (US$17.5 million) in the first quarter of 2012 and an 881% increase from RMB12.0 million (US$1.9 million) in the second quarter of 2011.

Fully diluted loss per share and per ADS for the second quarter of 2012 was RMB4.82 (US$0.76), compared to RMB4.55 (US$0.72) in the first quarter of 2012 and RMB0.48 (US$0.08) in the second quarter of 2011.

Currency Convenience Translation

The translation of Renminbi (RMB) into US dollars (US$) in this press release are presented solely for the convenience of the readers at the noon buying rate in the City of New York for cable transfers in Renminbi per U.S. dollar as certified for customs purposes by the H.10 weekly statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board as of June 30, 2012, which was RMB 6.3530 to US$1.00. Such translations should not be construed as representations that the RMB amounts represents, or have been or could be converted into, US$ at that or any other rate. The percentages stated in this press release are calculated based on the RMB amounts.

Conference Call / Webcast Information

The9's management team will host a conference call on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM, U.S. Eastern Time, corresponding to Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM, Beijing Time, to present an overview of The9's financial performance and business operations.

Investors, analysts and other interested parties will be able to access the live conference by calling:

US Toll Free: +1-866-519-4004
Mainland China (mobile users): 400-620-8038
Mainland China (fixed line users): 800-819-0121
Hong Kong Toll: +852-2475-0994
Singapore Toll / International Toll: +65-6723-9381

Conference ID # 14376023

A telephone replay of the call will be available from 12:00am ET on August 24, 2012 for 7 days.

The dial-in details for the replay are:

U.S. Toll Free: +1-866-214-5335
U.S. Toll / International Toll: +1-718-354-1232

The9 will also provide a live webcast of the earnings call. Participants in the webcast should log onto the Company's Investor Relations website http://www.corp.the9.com 15 minutes prior to the call, then click on the icon for "The9 Limited 1Q & 2Q 2012 Earnings Conference Call" and follow the instructions.

About The9 Limited

The9 Limited is an online game developer and operator. The9 developed and operates, directly or through its affiliates, its proprietary online games and web and social games including Shen Xian Zhuan, Re Xue Wu Shuang, Winning Basketball, Winning Goal and Q Jiang San Guo, in mainland China. It has also obtained exclusive licenses to operate other games in mainland China, such as Planetside 2. In addition, The9 is developing various proprietary games, including FireFall and other online games and web and social games. In 2010, The9 established its Mobile Internet Unit to focus on mobile internet business.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements.  These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements.  Among other things, the business outlook and quotations from management in this press release contain forward-looking statements.  The9 may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Forms 20-F and 6-K, etc., in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties.  Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about The9's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties.  A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.  Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, political and economic policies of the Chinese government, the laws and regulations governing the online game industry, information disseminated over the Internet and Internet content providers in China, intensified government regulation of Internet cafes, The9's ability to retain existing players and attract new players, license, develop or acquire additional online games that are appealing to users, anticipate and adapt to changing consumer preferences and respond to competitive market conditions, and other risks and uncertainties outlined in The9's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual reports on Form 20-F.  The9 does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Phyllis Sai
Manager, Investor Relations
The9 Limited
Tel: +86 (21) 5172-9990
Email: IR@corp.the9.com
Website: http://www.corp.the9.com/

- Tables follow -

THE9 LIMITED

UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME INFORMATION

(Expressed in Renminbi - RMB and US Dollars - US$, except share data)


 Quarter ended 



March 31, 2011


June 30, 2011


December 31,
2011


March 31, 2012


June 30, 2012


March 31, 2012


June 30, 2012



RMB


RMB


RMB


RMB


RMB


US$


US$
















 Revenues: 















   Online game services 


26,673,670


26,107,123


28,209,598


51,591,154


57,422,981


8,120,755


9,038,719

   Other revenues 


603,358


963,574


1,272,164


527,388


716,506


83,014


112,782



27,277,028


27,070,697


29,481,762


52,118,542


58,139,487


8,203,769


9,151,501
















 Sales Taxes 


(1,495,740)


(1,546,057)


(1,562,788)


(3,510,585)


(3,343,719)


(552,587)


(526,321)
















 Net Revenues 


25,781,288


25,524,640


27,918,974


48,607,957


54,795,768


7,651,182


8,625,180
















 Cost of Services 


1,912,084


(12,862,044)


(14,643,160)


(15,817,867)


(16,045,323)


(2,489,826)


(2,525,629)
















 Gross Profit (loss) 


27,693,372


12,662,596


13,275,814


32,790,090


38,750,445


5,161,356


6,099,551
















 Operating Expenses: 















   Product development 


(39,433,294)


(47,026,273)


(68,530,135)


(69,261,659)


(78,253,825)


(10,902,195)


(12,317,618)

   Sales and marketing 


(10,426,370)


(14,918,667)


(26,749,450)


(48,703,335)


(44,795,100)


(7,666,195)


(7,051,015)

   General and administrative 


(42,250,309)


(41,614,830)


(44,933,064)


(36,952,477)


(45,156,943)


(5,816,540)


(7,107,972)

   Impairment of equipment,
    intangible assets and goodwill 


-


-


-


-


(569,139)


-


(89,586)
















 Total operating expenses: 


(92,109,973)


(103,559,770)


(140,212,649)


(154,917,471)


(168,775,007)


(24,384,930)


(26,566,191)

 Other operating Income 


-


-


-


30,000


30,000


4,722


4,722

 Loss from operations 


(64,416,601)


(90,897,174)


(126,936,835)


(122,097,381)


(129,994,562)


(19,218,852)


(20,461,918)

 Interest income 


7,230,594


7,459,877


7,124,036


6,771,491


6,517,258


1,065,873


1,025,855

 Other (expenses) income , net 


(912,117)


6,731,736


(781,216)


875,783


1,621,895


137,853


255,296
















 Loss before income tax expense, gain (loss) on
  investment disposal and share of loss in equity
  investments 


(58,098,124)


(76,705,561)


(120,594,015)


(114,450,107)


(121,855,409)


(18,015,126)


(19,180,767)

 Income tax expense 


(165)


-


-


-


-


-


-

 Loss before gain (loss) on investment disposal
   and share of loss in equity investments      


(58,098,289)


(76,705,561)


(120,594,015)


(114,450,107)


(121,855,409)


(18,015,126)


(19,180,767)

 Gain (loss) on investment disposal 


-


60,121,453


(15,686,651)


-


-


-


-

 Share of loss in equity investments,
   net of taxes  


(186,566)


(589,218)


(1,034,009)


(1,856,783)


(2,521,100)


(292,269)


(396,836)
















 Net loss 


(58,284,855)


(17,173,326)


(137,314,675)


(116,306,890)


(124,376,509)


(18,307,395)


(19,577,603)

 Less:Net loss attributable to non-controlling
  interest 


(5,713,717)


(5,138,494)


(11,265,424)


(4,953,916)


(6,356,698)


(779,776)


(1,000,582)
















 Net loss attributable to
   holders of ordinary shares 


(52,571,138)


(12,034,832)


(126,049,251)


(111,352,974)


(118,019,811)


(17,527,619)


(18,577,021)
















 Net loss 


(58,284,855)


(17,173,326)


(137,314,675)


(116,306,890)


(124,376,509)


(18,307,395)


(19,577,603)

 Other Comprehensive loss: 















   Currency translation adjustments 


(524,436)


(1,235,333)


(1,044,761)


(41,316)


(111,701)


(6,503)


(17,582)

 Comprehensive loss 


(58,809,291)


(18,408,659)


(138,359,436)


(116,348,206)


(124,488,210)


(18,313,898)


(19,595,185)

 Less: Comprehensive loss attributable to
   noncontrolling interest 


(5,684,145)


(5,282,566)


(11,398,383)


(4,953,109)


(6,374,414)


(779,649)


(1,003,371)

 Comprehensive loss attributable to holders of
  ordinary shares 


(53,125,146)


(13,126,093)


(126,961,053)


(111,395,097)


(118,113,796)


(17,534,249)


(18,591,814)
















 Net loss attributable to holders of ordinary
  shares per share 















   - Basic and diluted 


(2.09)


(0.48)


(5.14)


(4.55)


(4.82)


(0.72)


(0.76)
















 Weighted average number of shares outstanding 















   - Basic and diluted 


25,124,726


25,131,874


24,518,712


24,459,891


24,474,211


24,459,891


24,474,211


 

THE9 LIMITED

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS INFORMATION

(Expressed in Renminbi - RMB and US Dollars - US$)



 As at 



December 31, 2011


March 31, 2012


June 30, 2012


March 31, 2012


June 30, 2012



RMB


RMB


RMB


US$


US$



(unaudited)


(unaudited)


(unaudited)


(unaudited)


(unaudited)












Assets











Current Assets











  Cash and cash equivalents


1,071,725,828


922,639,355


793,099,913


145,228,926


124,838,644

  Restricted cash


-


-


700,000


-


110,184

  Accounts receivable


10,054,911


15,547,790


17,781,455


2,447,315


2,798,907

  Advances to suppliers


3,365,755


2,136,349


4,919,914


336,274


774,424

  Prepayments and other current assets


66,060,141


101,161,932


95,982,380


15,923,490


15,108,198

  Prepaid royalties


15,556,270


15,845,245


15,906,204


2,494,136


2,503,731

  Deferred costs


1,903,099


1,644,878


1,393,319


258,914


219,317

Total current assets


1,168,666,004


1,058,975,549


929,783,185


166,689,055


146,353,405

Investments in equity investees


72,051,143


76,188,359


81,231,100


11,992,501


12,786,258

Available-for-sale investment


6,342,100


6,294,300


6,324,900


990,760


995,577

Property, equipment and software


60,513,021


68,380,408


72,351,885


10,763,483


11,388,617

Goodwill


10,035,775


10,025,263


10,074,001


1,578,036


1,585,708

Intangible assets


159,493,400


158,988,008


158,565,104


25,025,658


24,959,091

Land use right


76,036,026


75,555,798


75,075,571


11,892,932


11,817,342

Other long-term assets


75,756,603


71,406,278


69,277,418


11,239,773


10,904,678

Total Assets


1,628,894,072


1,525,813,963


1,402,683,164


240,172,198


220,790,676












Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity











Current Liabilities











  Accounts payable


44,149,842


48,276,181


39,185,969


7,598,958


6,168,105

  Refund of game points


169,998,682


169,998,682


169,998,682


26,758,804


26,758,804

  Other taxes payable


5,797,785


6,407,902


4,712,644


1,008,642


741,798

 Advances from customers


27,010,571


33,339,778


27,414,669


5,247,879


4,315,232

  Deferred revenue, current


16,661,791


17,305,436


18,529,481


2,723,979


2,916,651

  Other payables and accruals


47,906,323


40,287,034


47,547,548


6,341,419


7,484,267

Total current liabilities


311,524,994


315,615,013


307,388,993


49,679,681


48,384,857

Long-term accounts payable


60,016,072


59,953,208


59,953,208


9,436,992


9,436,992

Deferred tax liabilities, non-current


5,521,837


5,516,053


5,542,869


868,260


872,481

Total Liabilities


377,062,903


381,084,274


372,885,070


59,984,933


58,694,330












Equity











  Common shares (US$0.01 par value; 24,456,805 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2011, 24,465,101 shares issued and outstanding as of March 31,2012, 24,485,126 shares issued and outstanding as of June 30, 2012)


1,996,367


1,996,889


1,998,155


314,322


314,521

  Additional paid-in capital


2,110,986,623


2,119,967,236


2,129,278,277


333,695,457


335,161,070

  Statutory reserves


28,071,982


28,071,982


28,071,982


4,418,697


4,418,697

  Accumulated other comprehensive income 


(5,968,056)


(6,010,179)


(6,104,164)


(946,038)


(960,832)

  Accumulated deficit


(872,306,210)


(983,659,184)


(1,101,678,995)


(154,833,808)


(173,410,829)

The9 Limited shareholders' equity


1,262,780,706


1,160,366,744


1,051,565,255


182,648,630


165,522,627

Non-controlling interest


(10,949,537)


(15,637,055)


(21,767,161)


(2,461,365)


(3,426,281)

Total equity


1,251,831,169


1,144,729,689


1,029,798,094


180,187,265


162,096,346

Total liabilities and equity


1,628,894,072


1,525,813,963


1,402,683,164


240,172,198


220,790,676












 

SOURCE The9 Limited



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