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August 13, 2013

Sino swings to Q2 loss

The company put the loss down to a $27.1 million charge related to a sale of a stake in its Weibo service to Alibaba Group.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Sina, an online media company, posted a loss in second quarter profits on charges related to an asset sale and increased spending on mobile app services.

The company, which is behind China’s largest Twitter-like service, Weibo, said it made a loss of $11.5m (£7.4) in the three months ending 30 June from a profit of $33.2m a year earlier.

The company put the loss down to a $27.1 million charge related to a sale of a stake in its Weibo service to Alibaba Group.

Revenues rose 20% to $157.5m, as the company took in more sales in advertising from its Weibo unit and Mobile Value-Added Services (MVAS).

Sina, which faces increased pressure from rival Tencent, said it expects to generate revenue of $176m to $180m for the next quarter.

Charles Chao, Chairman and CEO of SINA, said: "Our strategy to diversify SINA’s revenue stream to beyond big-brand advertisers and to leverage Weibo’s continued traffic growth to develop social and mobile advertising as well as value-added services is placing SINA in a good position for more profitable revenue growth while making heavy investments for the future."

Sina, founded in 1999, sold an 18% stake in Weibo to Alibaba for $586m in April in a move that is expected to generate revenue from advertising and its social commerce services.

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