Alibaba has posted another strong quarter of growth with total revenues up 60% to RMB 38.6bn ($5.6 bn) as its customer base reached half a billion people.
The ecommerce giant’s March quarter results revealed revenues from Alibaba’s core commerce business, which includes the Taobao and Tmall marketplaces, increased 47% year-on-year to RMB 31.6bn ($4.6bn).
Alibaba’s investments in new business areas, such as entertainment, digital media and cloud computing, appear to be paying off with revenue growth across the board.
However, while revenues exceeded expectations, Alibaba’s earnings fell short of forecasts with the company posting net income of RMB 9.9bn ($1.4bn) and adjusted EBITDA of RMB 16.6bn ($2.4 bn).
Alibaba’s digital media and entertainment businesses increased 234% year-over-year to RMB 3.9bn ($571m). The growth reflects the consolidation of video streaming platform Youku Tudou, which Alibaba acquired in 2015, and the content sharing deal it inked with Amblin Entertainment in October.
Core computing revenues were RMB 2.2m ($314m), an increase of 103% year-on-year. While Alibaba added 109,000 new cloud computing customers, operating loss from the division was RMB 505m ($73m).
Mobile monthly active users on the company’s retail marketplaces reached 507 million in March – up 14 million people from last quarter.
Alibaba welcomed 11 million new consumers to its platform in the 12-month period ending December 2016, growing its annual active buyers to 454 million.
Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group, said the “outstanding quarter” demonstrated the company’s ability to engage and monetise its growing customer base.
“Our core commerce segment continued its significant growth and strong cash flow at large scale, enabling our aggressive investment in cloud computing, digital media and entertainment to drive the digital transformation of the economy and high-quality consumption across China,” said Zhang.
Maggie Wu, chief financial officer of Alibaba Group, said the results were “the highest growth rate we’ve achieved since our IPO”.
“Our robust results demonstrate the strength of our core businesses, as well as the positive momentum of our emerging businesses, including cloud computing, where we continue to see strong growth and market leadership,” said Wu.