Alibaba reports 22% rise in quarterly revenue
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba on Friday reported a rosy quarterly revenue despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group's revenue in its fourth quarter ending March 31 reached 114.31 billion yuan (US$16 billion), marking an increase of 22 percent year-on-year.
The Hangzhou-based company also announced revenue of 509.7 billion yuan in its fiscal year ending March 31, up 35 percent over the year-earlier level.
The company's net income attributable to ordinary shareholders for the fourth quarter, however, dropped 88 percent year-on-year to 3.16 billion yuan. The company ascribed the decrease primarily to a net loss in investment income.
Its net income attributable to ordinary shareholders for the fiscal year stood at 149.26 billion yuan, up 70.4 percent from that of the previous fiscal year.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said the company's overall business continued to experience strong growth, with a total annual active consumer base of 960 million globally, despite concluding the fiscal year with a quarter impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite a challenging quarter due to reduced economic activities in light of the COVID-19 epidemic in China, the company achieved its annual revenue guidance of over 500 billion yuan. Revenue growth of 35 percent year-over-year was driven by solid performance of its domestic retail businesses as well as robust cloud computing revenue growth, said Maggie Wu, chief financial officer of Alibaba Group.
"The pandemic has fundamentally altered consumer behavior and enterprise operations, making digital adoption and transformation a necessity," Zhang said.
China's retail sales of consumer goods declined 19 percent year-on-year in the first quarter amid the novel coronavirus epidemic. Online sales stayed relatively stable as consumers turned to online shopping when staying indoors, falling 0.8 percent. Online sales of physical goods expanded 5.9 percent to 1.85 trillion yuan, accounting for 23.6 percent of the total retail sales in the first quarter.