by By Yoko Kubota | WSJ.COM
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said its October-December revenue rose 41% from the year-earlier period, just below analyst estimates, with resilient consumer demand helping the Chinese e-commerce giant weather China’s economic slowdown.
Alibaba’s fiscal third quarter revenue was 117.28 billion yuan ($17.5 billion), compared with 83.03 billion yuan the same period a year before, the company reported Wednesday. Analysts polled by FactSet expected the company to post 119.03 billion yuan.
Its quarterly net income increased 37% to 33.05 billion yuan, above the 21.430 billion yuan that analysts had expected. A year earlier, it posted 24.073 billion yuan.
Chief Executive Daniel Zhang attributed the performance to the company’s focus on better serving its expanding base of 700 million consumers.
Concerns have been growing globally over China’s deepening economic downturn and its effect on Chinese and multinational companies. Many companies, including Apple Inc. and Nvidia Corp. have warned about the impact from China’s deceleration.
NYSE-listed Alibaba runs China’s two largest online retail platforms, Taobao and Tmall, and so serves as a barometer for China’s consumer economy. The economy’s vitality is key for Alibaba because it affects retail spending by consumers and ad purchases by merchants on its online platforms.
Last week Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said demand for smaller items such as apparel, consumer staples and fast-moving consumer goods like toiletries have continued to be strong despite a slowdown of big-ticket items such as cars.
Alibaba’s third-quarter sales were boosted by an annual national shopping promotion, called Singles’ Day, on Nov. 11, a rough equivalent to Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Vendors sold a record 213.5 billion yuan, or $30.8 billion, worth of goods on its platforms that day, 27% more than in 2017.
Revenue from Alibaba’s core commerce unit—which runs the Taobao and Tmall sites—rose 40% to 102.84 billion yuan.
⇑⇓ Start Trading ⇓⇑ – CFD Service. 80.6% lose money
Revenue from its cloud-computing business rose 84% to 6.61 billion yuan, while sales from Alibaba’s digital-media and entertainment division, which includes mobile browser UCWeb, video-streaming site Youku Tudou and Alibaba Pictures Group , rose 20% to 6.49 billion yuan.