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Alibaba’s quarterly results show cross-border surge

The pace of growth of Chinese online juggernaut Alibaba Group shows no sign of slowing, with both online marketplace customer numbers and mobile shoppers growing markedly between March and June.

Alibaba’s quarterly results released today show the company had 529 million active users on mobile shopping platforms, and 466 million on its online marketplaces – increases of 22 million and 12 million respectively.

And a record number of merchants using its platform enjoyed “robust growth” in the average spend.

Consolidated Alibaba Group sales growth hit 56 per cent in the quarter to June 30, turnover reaching RMB50.2 billion (US$7.4 billion).

“Alibaba had a strong start to fiscal 2018, reflecting the strength and diversity of our businesses and the value we bring to customers on our platforms,” said CEO Daniel Zhang. “Our technology is driving significant growth across our business and strengthening our position beyond core commerce.”

Core e-commerce business activities grew by 58 per cent to RMB43.027 billion (US$6.347 billion), while the cloud computing business posted 96 per cent to RMB2.431 billion.

Net income was RMB14.0 billion (US$2 billion) with adjusted EBITDA of RMB25.124 billion (US$3.7 billion) and an operating margin of 35 per cent.

Alibaba said its Taobao platform drove mobile sales growth, aided by the launch of a new mobile user interface that integrates personalisation technology to improve user experience and enhance engagement.

Tmall recorded 49 per cent year-over-year growth for physical goods gross merchandise volume in the quarter, with fashion, consumer electronics and FMCGs among the key growth categories.

Alibaba’s cross-border and international consumer businesses achieved 136 per cent growth, reaching RMB2.638 billion, driven by its Southeast Asian platform Lazada and China outbound platform AliExpress.

The other outstanding division was digital media and entertainment. Alibaba broadened its access to quality content, developing Youku’s subscription based business, and expanding the products and services of UCWeb.

The daily average subscribers of Youku video subscriptions increased by more than 100 per cent year-on-year during the quarter.

“We believe a strong pipeline of content, especially with a focus on original content with visibility of content availability and broadcast timing flexibility, will bring us sustainable long-term advantages in video entertainment,” the company said.

This story first appeared on our sister site, Inside Retail Asia.

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