Hotel commissions rose 1 pct to 65.2 mln yuan, while airline ticket commissions rose 28 pct to 19.9 mln.

'In light of the current environment, we intend to balance prudent expense management against investments for growth in 2009, and are taking steps to streamline our costs,' said CFO Chris Chan.

The gross margin in the third quarter was 71 pct, compared to 74 pct a year earlier, with air tickets making up a greater proportion of revenue relative to hotel bookings.

The company expects fourth quarter revenue to be between 83 mln and 92 mln yuan.

Get the full earnings call transcript at Seeking Alpha