Alibaba's quarterly revenue surges 39%
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's revenue surged 39 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2016, the company said today, its fastest growth in the last four quarters. Revenue hit 24.18 billion yuan ( $3.75 billion) for the three months to March, it said in its quarterly results announcement, defying both China's economic slowdown and increasing competition in the world's biggest e-commerce market.
The quarterly revenue figure beat analysts' average estimates of a 33 per cent rise, according to forecasts compiled by Bloomberg News. "Our excellent results this quarter reflect the unique strength of our core e-commerce business despite challenging economic conditions," Alibaba's chief financial officer Maggie Wu said in the statement. Alibaba is China's dominant player in online commerce with its Taobao platform estimated to hold more than 90 per cent of the consumer-to-consumer market, and its Tmall platform is believed to have over half of business-to-consumer transactions.
The company is considered a proxy for the Chinese economy, which expanded at its slowest rate in seven years during the first quarter of this year, rising an annual 6.7 per cent. But Alibaba's net income attributable to shareholders rose 85 percent year-on-year in the quarter ended in March to 832 million, the company said. For the full financial year ended in March, net income rocketed 196 per cent to 11.08 billion.
"Alibaba is still a company that can make money," Tiffany Zheng, an analyst at consultancy Business Connect China, told AFP before the results were announced. The company's closely-watched gross merchandise volume (GMV) -- a measure of value for online sales -- rose 24 per cent year-on-year to 115 billion for the quarter ended in March and stood at 485 billion for the whole fiscal year.
Alibaba had already announced that full-year GMV surpassed 3.0 trillion yuan, which the company claimed made it the world's biggest retailer. "Its ability to leverage its stable GMV growth for revenue has increased after a series of acquisitions," Zheng added. Alibaba has been seeking to expand outside its core e-commerce business, in sectors ranging from sports to entertainment.