Despite the Sino-U.S. trade war and a slowing domestic economy, the Chinese e-commerce giant recorded strong revenues for its fourth fiscal quarter ended on March 31, 2019, which topped analysts' estimates.
Alibaba's sales rose by 51 percent from the year-ago quarter to 93,500 million yuan renminbi (€12.1bn-$13.6bn), led by the core e-commerce segment, further aided by the fast-growing cloud-computing unit.
The management said the cloud and data technology, along with “tremendous” traction in the so-called “New Retail” segment, have enabled it to transform the way businesses operate in China and other emerging markets, which should contribute to the company's long-term growth. Alibaba has invested heavily in what it calls “New Retail,” optimizing sales through data collected online.
The company was recently named the world's most valuable retail brand outside the U.S. by the marketing group WPP and the consulting firm Kantar. It placed Alibaba's brand value at $131.2 billion in 2018, up by 48 percent from 2017.
Revenues from the core e-commerce business rose by 53.8 percent to RMB 78,894 million (€10.2bn-$11.4bn) during the quarter, while revenues from cloud computing grew by 76 percent to RMB 7,726 million (€1.0bn-$1.1bn), primarily driven by an increase in average spending per client. During the period, Alibaba Cloud launched products in the areas of graphic databases, anti-bot protection, blockchain services and real-time communications.
Overall, the group's adjusted Ebitda climbed by 29 percent to RMB 25,166 million (€3.2m-$3.6m), and net profit reached RMB 25,600 million (€3.3bn-$3.7bn), up from RMB 6.6 billion a year earlier.
For the full year, Alibaba's revenues surged by 51 percent to RMB 376,844 million (€48.9bn-$54.5bn), while net earnings attributable to ordinary shareholders rose by 37 percent to RMB 87,600 million (€11.4bn-$12.6bn).
The management said the group's cross-border and international retail businesses continue to show promising growth. Lazada and AliExpress had a total of more than 120 million annual active consumers. Meanwhile, annual active consumers on China retail marketplaces improved by 18 million to 654 million.
For the current financial year, the group's management is projecting revenues of more RMB 500 billion (€64.8bn-$72.4bn).