Alibaba Group sales surge 41 per cent

Alibaba Group sales soared 41 per cent in the December quarter as its customer based neared 700 million.

The Chinese company’s turnover for the three months reached US$17.057 billion and its net income attributable to shareholders $4.807 billion.

“Our resilient operating and financial performance is a direct reflection of our persistent focus on better serving our growing base of nearly 700 million consumers across retail, digital entertainment and local consumer services,” said CEO Daniel Zhang. “Our growth is also driven by the power of Alibaba’s cloud and data technology that helps expedite the digital transformation of millions of enterprises.”

Alibaba group sales from core commerce increased 40 per cent to $14.958 billion, while the cloud-computing division posted 84 per cent growth, turning over $962 million. The digital media and entertainment division achieved 20 per cent growth to reach $944 million.

In a statement, Alibaba said its Taobao platform achieved “robust user growth and enhanced engagement”. Last December, its China retail marketplaces had 699 million mobile monthly average users, representing a quarterly net increase of 33 million. The annual active consumers on its China retail marketplaces was 636 million for the 12 months ended December 31, compared to 601 million for the 12 months ended September 30 last year, “reflecting successful user acquisition programs, such as referrals through the Alipay app”.

More than 70 per cent of the increase in annual active consumers was from third-and-lower tier cities.

Tmall thrives

Alibaba said GMV on its Tmall business grew 29 per cent year on year in the December quarter, outpacing the industry.

“This robust growth was driven by strength in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), apparel and home furnishing categories,” the company said.

During the quarter, Tmall signed up new brands to the platform including Valentino, Ermenegildo Zegna, Stuart Weitzman and Sergio Rossi which opened flagship stores and joined the Tmall Luxury Pavilion.

Meanwhile, Alibaba’s proprietary grocery retail chain Freshippo (formerly Hema) continued to expand its footprint, “optimise its stores and introduce new initiatives that improve customer experience”. As of December 31, there were 109 self-operated Freshippo stores in China, primarily located in tier 1 and tier 2 cities, which continued to achieve “robust same-store sales growth” through the quarter.

‘Robust’ Lazada growth

Alibaba’s Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada achieved what the company described as “robust growth” in GMV. The company upgraded Lazada’s technology, which resulted in boosting the number of active users and achieved greater user engagement on Lazada’s mobile app.

“We continue to invest resources to integrate Lazada’s business and technology operations into Alibaba with the aim of building a strong foundation for us to extend our offerings in Southeast Asia.”

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