Alibaba Group Announces December Quarter 2016 Results, Revenue up 54%

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Alibaba Group Holding Limited has released its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2016.

“Our robust December quarter demonstrates the strength of the Chinese consumer and Alibaba’s ability to create value across our vast ecosystem,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “The 11.11 Shopping Festival featured Alibaba at its best, integrating commerce, entertainment and social engagement, all happening globally at record scale. We are driving the age of ‘New Retail,’ which leverages big data and innovation to provide a seamless online and offline experience for nearly half a billion mobile monthly active users. This retail transformation will make it even easier and more efficient for brands and retailers to engage with these consumers anywhere, anytime.”

“We reported another excellent quarter, with robust revenue growth of 54%. With three quarters of the year coming in ahead of expectations, we are adjusting up our 2017 fiscal year revenue guidance from 48% to 53% year-over-year growth,” said Maggie Wu, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group. “This quarter we generated US$4.9 billion in free cash flow on a non-GAAP basis1 , enabling us to continue investing in growth areas globally, including cloud computing, digital media and entertainment and innovation initiatives, as well as core commerce.”

Both Taobao and T-Mall accounted for approximately $6.7 billion (up 45% year on year). The company stated that its marketplaces now have 493 million monthly users, as of December 2016, with 443 million active buyers. The company also stated that Taobao, grew 493 million monthly users in December from 450 million in September.

It would be recalled that this past December, the U.S. Trade Representatives Office (USTR) put Taobao back on its notorious market list. The company at the time expressed disappointment about the USTR decision

Below are highlights of the revenue by segment:

  • Total revenue of $7.669 billion rose 54 percent year-over-year.
  • Revenue from the core commerce segment rose 45 percent year-over-year to $6.708 billion.
  • Revenue from cloud computing rose 115 percent year-over-year to $254 million.
  • Revenue from digital media and entertainment rose 273 percent year-over-year to $585 million.
  • Revenue from innovation initiatives and others rose 61 percent year-over-year to $122 million.
  • The number of paying customers of our cloud computing business grew to 765,000 from 651,000 in the previous quarter. Operating loss from cloud computing was RMB339 million (US$49 million) and adjusted EBITA loss was RMB92 million (US$13 million).

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