Alibaba boosts Q4 revenue by 54%

Eden Estopace
Enterprise Innovation

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group reported a 54% increase in revenue for the quarter ended December 31.

Revenue for the quarter reached 53.25 billion yuan ($7.66 billion). This was mainly attributed to the strong growth of its China e-commerce retail business and Alibaba Cloud division, as well as the consolidation of newly acquired businesses (mainly Youku Tudou and Lazada).

“Our robust December quarter demonstrates the strength of the Chinese consumer and Alibaba’s ability to create value across our vast ecosystem,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group.

The Alibaba chief said the 11.11 Shopping Festival showcased Alibaba’s expertise at integrating commerce, entertainment and social engagement.

“We are driving the age of ‘New Retail,’ which leverages big data and innovation to provide a seamless online and offline experience for nearly half a billion mobile monthly active users. This retail transformation will make it even easier and more efficient for brands and retailers to engage with these consumers anywhere, anytime,” he said.

For fiscal year 2017, Alibaba expects revenue to increase 53% year-over-year. “With three quarters of the year coming in ahead of expectations, we are adjusting up our 2017 fiscal year revenue guidance from 48% to 53% year-over-year growth,” said Maggie Wu, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group.

She disclosed that the company generated $4.9 billion in free cash flow on a non-GAAP basis during the quarter, which enabled it to continue investing in growth areas such as cloud computing (115% revenue increase year-over-year), digital media and entertainment (273% increase year-over-year), and other innovation initiatives (61% revenue increase year-over-year).

Meanwhile, revenue from core commerce jumped 45% year-over-year to $6.71 billion.

The Taobao marketplace added 43 million monthly active users (MAU) from September, with relevant content in the app reportedly continuing to drive mobile user growth. Small, on the hand, had another record breaking 11.11 sales with a record $17.4 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) settled through its own payment platform Alipay, 82% of which was generated from mobile.

The company disclosed that its “New Retail” strategy will enable it to tap into the entire $4.8 trillion retail sector in China by eliminating the distinction between online and offline commerce. It also bared plans to partner with brick-and-mortar retailers in different verticals through equity investments and deeper operational integration.

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