Chinese retail behemoth Alibaba Group shrugged off the impact of the Covid-19 crisis to report a 35-per-cent increase in sales in the year to March, and achieving its five-year-old goal of surpassing US$1 trillion in GMV.
Revenue for the year reached $71.4 billion, as the company expanded its global customer base to 960 million active consumers.
In the March quarter, when the Covid-19 crisis was at its peak, revenue was up 22 per cent, to $16.1 billion, a rate lower than for the rest of the year, but driven by its mainland China online ventures which drew increased custom from people unable to visit physical stores.
Adjusted earnings before tax grew 29 per cent to $22.3 billion.
Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang said Covid-19 has “fundamentally altered consumer behavior and enterprise operations, making digital adoption and transformation a necessity”.
“We are well positioned and prepared to help large and small businesses across a wide spectrum of industries achieve the digital transformation they need to survive this difficult period and eventually prevail in the new normal. By focusing on the long term and investing in value creation for our consumers and business customers, we believe we will emerge from this crisis stronger and be ready to capture more growth in the future,” he said.
CFO Maggie Wu added that while the pandemic negatively impacted most of Alibaba’s domestic core-commerce businesses starting in late January, a steady recovery has been evident since March.
“Based on our current view of Chinese domestic consumption and enterprise digitisation, we expect to generate over $91 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2021,” she said.