Retail

Alibaba Lays out Financial and Business Targets at Two Day Investor Confab

Amid a soaring stock price that reached an all-time of nearly $143, Alibaba management laid out revenue growth targets and business plans over a two-day investor gathering this week.

In documents posted on the company’s website, the company said that it is targeting revenue growth of between 45 percent and 49 percent in the current fiscal year.  That compares a bit favorably to the 44 percent growth that was logged last year.  Alibaba cited strength in its core eCommerce business and resilient spending by consumers in China.

As has been widely reported, the company has also been looking to broaden its revenue portfolio, which now covers digital media and cross-border commerce.  CEO Daniel Zhang told investors that Alibaba could be likened to its own economy, with “half a billion customers worldwide” and 10 million small businesses making transactions across the company’s platforms daily.  The firm is also changing the way it measures its take rate from merchants, with additional factors monitored such as customer service and other “value-adds,” and it is also referring to “annual active consumers” rather than “annual active buyers” to reflect broader ranges of interaction with the platform.  User engagement, said management, is coming through content that spans video and other media.   Content-driven pages views, said the company materials, were up 140 percent year over year.

Consumer spend and stickiness is showing up in the numbers, said Alibaba, with 38 orders placed per customer the first year of use, and 123 orders four years later.  Spend was up from RMB 3,000 in year one to RMB 12,000 in year five.

Separately, on Day 2 of the gathering, Executive Chairman Jack Ma reconfirmed  targets for Alibaba to hit gross merchandise volume of $1 trillion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.  The company also seeks to create 100 million jobs and serve 2 billion customers through that timeframe.

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