Alibaba Posts Record June Quarter

Alibaba Group’s June quarter revenue and earnings came in strong, beating analyst expectations.

The Chinese e-commerce giant reported revenue of US$4.8 billion with YoY growth of 59 percent — the highest growth rate since the company’s 2014 IPO. A proportion of the strong growth can be attributed to recent acquisitions including Youku Tudou, an online video platform, and Lazada, a Southeast Asian e-commerce platform.

Acquisitions aside, the company’s core Chinese e-commerce retail business performed strongly over the period, posting 49 percent YoY growth. As with Amazon, Alibaba’s cloud computing business has also been driving strong growth for the company, with revenue from this unit growing 156 percent over the period.

Gross merchandise volume showed 24 percent YoY growth, reaching US$126 billion.

“Our results show the scale and leverage of our ecosystem, as we strengthen our competitive positions in core commerce, cloud computing and digital media and entertainment,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group.

“The acceleration of our revenue growth reflects the deep value propositions that we bring to our customers. We are changing the way our 434 million active buyers engage with our platform, as we introduce social, community and personalisation driven by smart data into our e-commerce marketplaces, realising our vision of ‘Live@Alibaba.’ We are poised for strong profitable growth into the future,” Zhang said.

The Chinese giant also reported solid growth in user engagement, with annual active buyers up 18 percent YoY to 434 million, and mobile monthly active users up 39 percent to 427 million.

“We passed an important milestone this quarter in achieving higher monetisation of mobile users than non-mobile users for the first time, reflecting the success of our strategy to stay ahead of the curve by embracing mobile,” said Maggie Wu, Chief Financial Officer for Alibaba.

“Our results reflect the unrivalled strength of our core commerce business, as well as the accelerating traction we are seeing from our cloud computing and digital media and entertainment businesses.”

Alibaba reported adjusted EBITDA of US$2.5 billion for its core commerce segment (including China and international retail and wholesale marketplaces). However, the Wall Street Journal has suggested that the company is incurring significant losses from its various side projects and investments. According to the Journal, Alibaba has racked up losses of US$530 million from its various non-core projects, amounting to about 21 percent of earnings for its core e-commerce business.

 

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