Alibaba reports 10 percent growth in Dec quarter revenue to US$38 billion

Alibaba reports 10 percent growth in Dec quarter revenue to US$38 billion

Slowest growth since listing, shares slide.

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group said that in its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2021, its total revenue was 242.6 billion yuan (US$38.37 billion) up 10 percent over the year-ago period. 

Net income attributable to shareholders was down 74 percent to 20.43 billion yuan (US$3.21 billion) while net income was down 75 percent to 19.22 billion (US$3.02 billion). 

According to the company, this was primarily due to the impairment of goodwill of 25.14 billion yuan (US$3.95 billion) and the decrease in net gains arising from the changes in fair value of the company’s equity investments, both of which were excluded from its non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) measures. 

Non-GAAP net income was 44.62 billion (US$7 billion), down 25 percent year-over-year. 

This is the slowest quarterly revenue growth for the e-commerce giant since it went public in 2014, attributable mainly due to the slowing down of the Chinese economy and increased competition in the China market hitting its core business.

A key metric, customer management revenue, which tracks how much money merchants spend on advertising and promotions on Alibaba's sites, fell one pecent year-on-year during the quarter.

The company’s shares were down about 3 percent in the New York stock exchange before the opening bell. 

They fell by about seven percent after the results were announced but some of the loss could be attributed to the slide in global shares after Russia launched its operations in Ukraine, according to analysts.

Revenue growth of its China commerce segment rose 7 percent year-on-year to 172.22 billion yuan (US$27 billion).

Cloud business 

The company’s cloud business, even though a relatively small part of its total business, fared better, growing 20 percent to 19.54 billion yuan (US$3.06 billion) compared to the year-ago period after inter-segment elimination.

During the period, Alibaba Cloud continued its Asia Pacific expansion with the launch of two data centres – one in South Korea and the other in Thailand. 

Currently, it offers computing services to 25 regions globally, including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Germany and Dubai.

Alibaba said its cloud container service for Kubernetes has been upgraded to ACK Anywhere. 

According to the company, this latest edition improves the container technology performance, allowing customers to experience low-cost, low-latency and localised public cloud products in all types of data centres. 

The company said its cloud offering’s advantages were its proprietary technology and “Alibaba Group’s continued commitment to invest in research and development (R&D) in new product offerings and industry-specific solutions” for its customers and partners. 

Commenting on the results, Alibaba Group’s chief financial officer, Maggie Wu said the company had delivered “healthy results” for the quarter.

“With confidence in the company's prospects today and over the long term, we repurchased approximately 10.1 million of our ADSs for approximately US$1.4 billion this quarter,” Wu said.

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