China’s Alibaba forecasts annual sales of Rmb500bn – Financial Times

China’s Alibaba forecasts annual sales of Rmb500bn – Financial Times

Alibaba on Wednesday outlined expectations to increase annual sales to Rmb500bn ($72.6bn) as the sprawling Chinese tech company unveiled stronger than expected revenue growth in the last three months of its financial year.

Sales increased 51 per cent year-on-year in quarter to the end of March to Rmb93.5bn. Revenues for the full fiscal year were Rmb376.84bn, up 39 per cent when stripping out the boost from newly acquired businesses.

The numbers from Alibaba, which derives by far the bulk of revenues from domestic e-commerce, suggest the nation’s shoppers remained in fine fettle at the beginning of calendar 2019. That contrasts nationwide growth in retail sales for April, also released on Wednesday, which decelerated to just 7.2 per cent, the lowest pace in 16 years.

Margin erosion continued to dog the Hangzhou based group. At the operating level, margins for the quarter dipped from 15 per cent to 9 per cent. Operating income of Rmb8.76bn — below consensus analyst expectations — was down 5 per cent year on year, dented by a $250m payment to settle a class-action lawsuit

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders for the fiscal fourth quarter came in at Rmb25.83bn, boosted by revaluation gains on investments. Adjusted net income, which strips this out, was up 42 per cent at Rmb20.06bn, ahead of analyst expectations.

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