Sun, May 06, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Alibaba profit skyrockets on smartphones, tablets

AFP, BEIJING

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) on Friday announced a massive 47 percent leap in net profit for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, helped by a rise in smartphone and tablet transactions on its shopping platform.

Profit climbed to 63.985 billion yuan (US$10.1 billion), boosted by a 60 percent rise in revenue from its core business, the online retailer said.

The New York-listed firm added 98 million active consumers over the year that ended on March 31, to a total of 552 million using its e-commerce marketplaces.

Overall revenue climbed 58 percent year-on-year to 250.27 billion yuan, with revenue from cloud computing up 101 percent and digital media and entertainment up 33 percent.

For the fourth quarter, the company saw revenue soar 61 percent year-on-year to 62 billion yuan — better than the 59 percent rise predicted by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The company said it expects revenue to match that trajectory in the year to March next year, rising 60 percent, as the firm drives diversification into a wealth of new areas, including offline businesses such as supermarkets and delivery operations.

“Alibaba Group had an excellent quarter and fiscal year, driven by robust growth in our core commerce business and investments we have made over the past several years in longer-term growth initiatives,” chief executive officer Daniel Zhang (張勇) said in a statement.

The overwhelming majority of the group’s revenue still comes from online trading platforms, which continued to attract new customers in China, where trends and shopping preferences can shift quickly.

With Taobao (淘寶), Alibaba dominates 90 percent of the Chinese consumer-to-consumer market, and its Tmall (天貓) platform controls half of the online transactions between professionals and individuals.

However, Alibaba plans to develop close links with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, notably the Hema (盒馬) supermarket chain, and investments in distribution chains in a “new retail” strategy.

The move echoes US online giant Amazon.com Inc, which has opened physical shops and last year acquired US chain Whole Foods Market Inc.

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