Alibaba lifts forecasts as Singles Day helps Q3 revenues jump 54%

Alibaba posts strong third-quarter revenues

Alibaba has lifted its full-year forecasts after a robust third quarter delivered a 54% increase in revenues to RMB 53.25 billion ($7.67 billion).

The Chinese online retail giant beat analyst estimates to report net income of RMB 17.12 billion ($2.47 billion).

In line with the strong December quarter, Alibaba raised its 2017 fiscal year revenue guidance from 48% to 53% growth year-on-year.

The Q3 results were bolstered by another record-breaking Singles Day event, with Alibaba’s annual retail extravaganza reporting RMB 120.7 billion ($17.4 billion).

Alibaba’s commerce business, which includes Taobao and T-Mall, increased revenue by 45% year-on-year to RMB 46.58 billion ($6.71 billion). Mobile monthly active users on the company’s retail marketplaces reached 493 million in December – up 43 million from September.

While Alibaba’s commerce business remains the primary revenue driver for the group, new areas of focus are showing strong growth particularly cloud computing, data, and digital entertainment.

Revenue from cloud computing more than doubled during the quarter, up 115% year-on-year to RMB 1.76 billion ($254 million). The growth was driven by a surge in paying online customers, which jumped from 114,000 last quarter to 765,000 in Q3.

Last week, Alibaba announced a partnership with the International Olympic Committee to become the official e-commerce and cloud services partner.

Alibaba reported a surge in revenues for its digital media and entertainment business which increased 273% year-on-year to RMB 4.06 billion ($585 million).

The company has been increasingly focused on Alibaba's Youku Todou streaming service, rolling out live streaming services during the Singles Day gala. Alibaba also inked a groundbreaking deal with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Pictures to stream movies.

Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group, said in a statement, “Our robust December quarter demonstrates the strength of the Chinese consumer and Alibaba’s ability to create value across our vast ecosystem."

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