Alibaba beats expectations in Q4, with revenue hitting almost $10bn

Alibaba beats expectations in Q4, with revenue hitting almost $10bn
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has reported better-than-projected earnings in the January-to-March quarter. Revenue climbed 61 percent to 61.9 billion yuan ($9.7 billion), boosted by steady sales in the firm’s core businesses.

“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,” the company’s CEO Daniel Zhang said on Friday in the earnings release.

He added: “Today, our business is stronger than ever because of our focus on delivering a unique value proposition to our customers.”

The first three months of the year are usually slow for Alibaba. However, annual active users on the firm’s Chinese retail platforms, led by Taobao Marketplace and Tmall, increased by 37 million to reach 552 million.

The company expects overall revenue growth above 60 percent for fiscal 2019, which reflects its confidence in core business as well as in new businesses.

The e-commerce giant has started diversifying its activities to fend off rising competition from rivals such as Tencent in the retail and payments space.

“With the continuing roll out of our new retail strategy, our e-commerce platform is developing into the leading retail infrastructure of China,” said Zhang.

He explained that, during the past year, the company has “doubled down on technology development, cloud computing, logistics, digital entertainment and local services so that we are in a position to capture consumption growth in China and other emerging markets.”

Alibaba was also buying up more physical stores to connect them with the internet as it aims creating massive, data-driven e-commerce ecosystems.

The company’s “new retail” Hema supermarket concept, which allows consumers to shop online and offline, added 17 new stores last year. It now has 46 outlets in 13 cities across China.

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