Retail

Alibaba Rides Chinese Consumer Wave In 3Q

eCommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding found continued strength in spending by Chinese consumers helped lift fiscal third-quarter results.

Revenues were up 54 percent in the period to 53 billion yuan, compared to the 50 billion yuan that had been expected by analysts’ consensus (translating into $7.8 billon U.S. dollar [USD]). Net income stood at roughly $1 USD, or 9.09 yuan, where the Street had been at 7.70 yuan.

In addition to growth in its core platform, which is being watched for signs of weakness, more recent forays into cloud-based initiatives also boosted the company’s top line.

Management stated that the top-line traction came as the firm has embraced avenues as diverse as artificial intelligence and logistics, a strategy that Reuters has said comes as the eCommerce arena has shown signs of saturation. Alibaba is looking to latch onto additional retail streams, relying on data and channels, such as that of Intime, a department store that is being taken private for $2.6 billion.

The extant business combinations are strong enough so that management is boosting 2017’s full-year guidance, targeting revenue growth of as much as 54 percent, up from a previous 48 percent level.

And though eCommerce remains the engine right now for Alibaba’s growing, as management stated that core commerce saw 42 percent gains overall year over year. And within China-based commerce retail spending tied to the company, said Alibaba, 80 percent was conducted across mobile devices. At the latest count, the firm had 493 million monthly active users.

Other initiatives highlighted by Alibaba for the quarter included cloud services, where cloud computing revenue growth was up 115 percent year over year to 1.8 billion yuan (and the earnings-before-interest-and-taxes margin here was a negative 5 percent versus 41 percent last year). Digital media and entertainment was up 273 percent year over year upon the consolidation of Youku Tudou to 4 million yuan.

Total spend annually on a per-user basis, according to slides provided by the company, stood at about $35 at the end of December, up from roughly $26 a year ago (translated into USD).

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