March 4, 2024

Alibaba on Thursday beat expectations for fourth-quarter revenue, as growing demand for some of its niche online shopping services in China offset weakness at its main marketplaces caused by the country’s COVID-19 lockdowns.

US-listed Alibaba shares, which have lost roughly a third of their value so far this year, were up about 5 percent in premarket trading.

Revenue in Alibaba’s cloud computing division rose 12 percent to 18.97 billion yuan (roughly Rs. 21,845 crore) in the reported quarter. At the core commerce unit, its largest, revenue rose 8 percent to 140.33 billion yuan (roughly Rs. 1,61,643 crore).

The company, however, said it would not issue a forecast for the new fiscal year, citing pandemic-related risks and uncertainties.

Rival beat estimates for quarterly revenue last week as more people shopped for groceries and other essentials online, although it warned of a hit from supply-chain disruptions and sluggish consumption in the coming quarters.

Overall, Alibaba’s revenue rose 9 percent to 204.05 billion yuan (roughly Rs. 2,34,971 crore) in the quarter. Analysts on average had expected revenue of 199.25 billion yuan (roughly Rs. 2,29,440 crore), according to Refinitiv data.

Annual active consumers on its platforms reached about 1.31 billion for the fiscal year, including over 1 billion consumers in China for the first time.

Net income attributable to shareholders fell 59 percent to 61.96 billion yuan (roughly Rs. 71,373 crore) in the fourth quarter ended March 31, primarily due to losses associated with its equity investments in publicly traded companies.

Ant Group, Alibaba’s fintech affiliate, reported a profit of about 22 billion yuan (roughly Rs. 25,332 crore) for the quarter ended December, according to Alibaba’s filings on Thursday, compared with 21.76 billion yuan (roughly Rs. 25,056 crore) a year ago.

© Thomson Reuters 2022