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51job, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2021 Financial Results


51job, Inc. (Nasdaq: JOBS) ("51job" or the "Company"), a leading provider of integrated human resource services in China, announced today its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2021 ended March 31, 2021.








First Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights:

  • Net revenues increased 13.2% over Q1 2020 to RMB895.2 million (US$136.6 million)

  • Online recruitment services revenues decreased 0.3%

  • Other human resource related revenues increased 43.3%

  • Income from operations was RMB3.9 million (US$0.6 million)

  • Fully diluted earnings per share was RMB0.84 (US$0.13)

  • Excluding share-based compensation expense, gain from foreign currency translation, and change in fair value of listed equity securities investment, as well as the related tax effect of these items, non-GAAP adjusted fully diluted earnings per share was RMB1.53 (US$0.23)


First Quarter 2021 Unaudited Financial Results


Net revenues for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 were RMB895.2 million (US$136.6 million), an increase of 13.2% from RMB791.1 million for the same quarter in 2020.


Online recruitment services revenues for the first quarter of 2021 were RMB545.4 million (US$83.2 million) compared with RMB547.0 million for the same quarter in 2020. While the Company has observed improvements in market conditions and hiring activity in 2021, the slight year-over-year decline was primarily due to the calendar impact of the Chinese New Year holiday in mid-February, which resulted in a later start to the recruitment peak season in 2021 and affected the amount of revenues that could be recognized in the first quarter of this year. The Company believes there will be continued recovery in its online recruitment business in 2021.


Other human resource related revenues for the first quarter of 2021 increased 43.3% to RMB349.8 million (US$53.4 million) from RMB244.1 million for the same quarter in 2020. The growth was primarily driven by solid employer demand for training, placement and business process outsourcing services this year, as compared to a challenging environment and stringent travel and social restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020.


Gross profit for the first quarter of 2021 increased 6.8% to RMB573.4 million (US$87.5 million) from RMB536.8 million for the same quarter of the prior year. Gross margin, which is gross profit as a percentage of net revenues, was 64.1% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with 67.9% for the same quarter in 2020. The increase in cost of services was primarily due to higher employee compensation expenses and staff additions.


Operating expenses for the first quarter of 2021 increased 55.2% to RMB569.5 million (US$86.9 million) from RMB366.8 million for the same quarter in 2020. Sales and marketing expenses for the first quarter of 2021 increased 71.6% to RMB473.9 million (US$72.3 million) from RMB276.2 million for the same quarter of the prior year, primarily due to greater spending on advertising campaigns and brand building activities as well as more headcount and higher employee compensation expenses. Advertising and promotion expenses increased 208.8% to RMB231.2 million (US$35.3 million) in the first quarter of 2021 from RMB74.9 million in the same quarter of the prior year. The Company has plans to significantly increase sales and marketing investments this year to strengthen its brands and promote its wide range of service offerings.


General and administrative expenses for the first quarter of 2021 increased 5.4% to RMB95.5 million (US$14.6 million) from RMB90.6 million for the same quarter of the prior year, primarily due to higher share-based compensation expense, provision for credit losses, professional services fees and office-related costs.


Income from operations for the first quarter of 2021 was RMB3.9 million (US$0.6 million) compared with RMB170.0 million for the first quarter of 2020. Operating margin, which is income from operations as a percentage of net revenues, was 0.4% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with 21.5% for the same quarter in 2020. Excluding share-based compensation expense, operating margin would have been 4.8% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with 26.2% for the same quarter in 2020.


The Company recognized a gain from foreign currency translation of RMB5.3 million (US$0.8 million) in the first quarter of 2021 compared with RMB10.2 million in the first quarter of 2020, primarily due to the impact of the change in exchange rate between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar on the Company's U.S. dollar cash deposits.


The Company recognized a mark-to-market, non-cash loss of RMB13.3 million (US$2.0 million) in the first quarter of 2021 compared with a gain of RMB9.9 million in the first quarter of 2020 associated with a change in fair value of listed equity securities investment in Huali University Group Limited, which is traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.


Net income attributable to 51job for the first quarter of 2021 was RMB57.2 million (US$8.7 million) compared with RMB205.2 million for the same quarter in 2020. Fully diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2021 was RMB0.84 (US$0.13) compared with RMB3.02 for the same quarter in 2020.


In the first quarter of 2021, total share-based compensation expense was RMB38.9 million (US$5.9 million) compared with RMB37.1 million in the first quarter of 2020.


Excluding share-based compensation expense, gain from foreign currency translation, and change in fair value of listed equity securities investment, as well as the related tax effect of these items, non-GAAP adjusted net income attributable to 51job for the first quarter of 2021 was RMB104.1 million (US$15.9 million) compared with RMB222.3 million for the first quarter of 2020. Non-GAAP adjusted fully diluted earnings per share was RMB1.53 (US$0.23) in the first quarter of 2021 compared with RMB3.27 in the first quarter of 2020.


As of March 31, 2021, cash and short-term investments totaled RMB10,359.3 million (US$1,581.1 million) compared with RMB10,761.9 million as of December 31, 2020.


Intention to Purchase New Headquarters Office Building in Shanghai


Subject to approval for sale by local government authorities, the Company intends to purchase an office building in Shanghai, which will serve as its new corporate headquarters.


The building is approximately 32,400 square meters and will accommodate the Company's continued growth and business expansion. The total purchase price is estimated to be about RMB2.07 billion (US$316 million), and a deposit amount of RMB409.9 million (US$62.6 million) has been made as of March 31, 2021.


Currency Convenience Translation


For the convenience of readers, certain Renminbi amounts have been translated into U.S. dollar amounts at the rate of RMB6.5518 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate on March 31, 2021 in New York for cable transfers of Renminbi as set forth in the H.10 weekly statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board.


Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures


To supplement the consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"), 51job uses non-GAAP financial measures of income before income tax expense, income tax expense, adjusted net income, adjusted net income attributable to 51job and adjusted earnings per share, which are adjusted from results based on GAAP to exclude share-based compensation expense, gain from foreign currency translation and change in fair value of listed equity securities investment, as well as the related tax effect of these items. The Company believes excluding share-based compensation expense and its related tax effect from its non-GAAP financial measures is useful for its management and investors to assess and analyze the Company's core operating results as such expense is not directly attributable to the underlying performance of the Company's business operations and do not impact its cash earnings. The Company believes excluding gain from foreign currency translation and change in fair value of listed equity securities investment, as well as the related tax effect, from its non-GAAP financial measures is useful for its management and investors as such translation, mark-to-market gain or loss is not indicative of the Company's core business operations and will not result in cash settlement nor impact the Company's cash earnings. 51job also believes these non-GAAP financial measures excluding share-based compensation expense, gain from foreign currency translation and change in fair value of listed equity securities investment, as well as the related tax effect of these items, are important in helping investors to understand the Company's current financial performance and future prospects and to compare business trends among different reporting periods on a consistent basis. The presentation of these additional measures should not be considered a substitute for or superior to GAAP results or as being comparable to results reported or forecasted by other companies. The non-GAAP measures have been reconciled to GAAP measures in the attached financial statements.


 

About 51job


Founded in 1998, 51job is a leading provider of integrated human resource services in China. With a comprehensive suite of HR solutions, 51job meets the needs of enterprises and job seekers through the entire talent management cycle, from initial recruitment to employee retention and career development. The Company's main online recruitment platforms (http://www.51job.com, http://www.yingjiesheng.com, http://www.51jingying.com, http://www.lagou.com, and http://www.51mdd.com), as well as mobile applications, connect millions of people with employment opportunities every day. 51job also provides a number of other value-added HR services, including business process outsourcing, training, professional assessment, campus recruitment, executive search and compensation analysis. 51job has a call center in Wuhan and a nationwide network of sales and service locations spanning more than 30 cities across China.

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