Alibaba Beats Revenue Estimates Amid COVID-19 Lockdown in China

Alibaba on Thursday beat expectations for fourth-quarter revenue, as rising demand for some specialty online shopping services in China offset weakness in its key markets caused by the country’s COVID-19 shutdown.

US-listed Alibaba shares, which have lost nearly a third of their value this year, are up about 5 percent in pre-market trading.

Revenue in Alibaba’s cloud computing division rose 12 percent to 18.97 billion yuan (approximately Rs 21,845 crore) in the cited quarter. In the core trading unit, its largest, revenue rose 8 percent to 140.33 billion yuan (about Rs.1,661.643 crore).

However, the company said it will not release forecasts for the new fiscal year, citing risks and uncertainties associated with the pandemic.

Rival beat its quarterly revenue estimates last week as more people shopped for groceries and other necessities online, though it warned of a supply chain hit and a slowdown in consumption in the coming quarters.

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

The number of annual active consumers on its platforms reached about 1.31 billion in the fiscal year, including more than 1 billion consumers in China for the first time.

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

Ant Group, a subsidiary of fintech company Alibaba, reported profit of about 22 billion yuan (about Rs 25,332 crore) for the quarter ending in December, according to Alibaba filings on Thursday, compared with 21.76 billion yuan (about Rs 25,056 crore) a year earlier. .

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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