Outstanding quarter for Alibaba sales

In an “outstanding quarter” to September 30, Alibaba sales have grown 61 per cent to US$8.3 billion.

That’s the tech and e-commerce giant’s strongest quarterly performance since its IPO and a result the company says reflects the strength of the business beyond its core activities.

“We had an outstanding quarter,” said CEO Daniel Zhang. “Our consumer insights and technology innovation were the key drivers behind our customer value proposition across the Alibaba economy.

“We are seeing the early results from our efforts to integrate online and offline with our New Retail strategy, and consumers have benefited from access to high quality products, improved customer experience and the tremendous convenience of shopping anytime, anywhere.”

Maggie Wu, CFO, said the group generated about $3.4 billion in free cash flow during the quarter, “which enables us to invest in our future growth areas of core commerce, including logistics, cloud computing, digital entertainment and other innovation initiatives.”

E-commerce remained the backbone of the business despite its rapidly growing diversification. Mobile monthly active users on China retail marketplaces reached 549 million in September, an increase of 20 million over June 2017. Annual active consumers on China retail marketplaces reached 488 million, up 22 million users from the 12 months to June 30.

Cloud revenue grew 99 per cent year-on-year to $447 million, driven by robust growth in paying customers and an improving revenue mix of higher value-added services.

Revenue from digital media and entertainment increased 33 per cent to $721 million and the daily average subscribers of Youku video increased by more than 180 per cent, attributed to a strategy of offering a mixture of licensed and original content.

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