(Yicai Global) Nov. 3 -- Ctrip.com International Ltd. [NASDAQ:CTRP], China's largest online travel agency, reported net profit attributable to shareholders of CNY1.2 billion (USD181 million) in the third quarter, a sharp rise from CNY24 million (USD3.63 million) in the same period last year, beating early expectations.
Revenues grew 42 percent annually to CNY7.9 billion in the quarter, with an operating margin of 83 percent, higher than 78 percent reported in the same period last year and 82 percent in the second quarter.
The growth in revenue is attributable to growth in accommodation, transport tickets, vacations and business travel. The firm's accommodation business grew 36 percent annually, while transport tickets saw a 41 percent rise in revenue to CNY3.4 billion.
Ctrip's vacation segment saw a 27 percent increase in revenue to CNY1 billion driven by expanded coverage of tourism products, while revenue related to business travel increased 22 percent to CNY203 million.
Ctrip.com's substantial growth in net profit is also attributable to its global strategy and its development of a global travel ecosystem, said Wei Changren, chief analyst at Jinlv Consulting.
"Ctrip.com continued to maintain rapid growth in international flight tickets in the third quarter, and the number of tickets sold by its international business unit continued to see robust triple-digit growth," added Wei.
The company's hotel business has expanded its presence in regions such as Japan, Spain, Australia and Thailand, with 1.2 million hotels around the world now linked to Ctrip.
Wall Street is upbeat about Ctrip's future performance, according to a report by Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. [NYSE:OPY]. The investment bank continues to rate Ctrip.com as outperforming with a latest target price set at USD58.00.