Alibaba beats estimates on record Singles' Day sales

The e-commerce giant usually reports its highest revenue in the December quarter because of its mega 'Singles' Day' shopping bonanza happening in November

China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd beat analysts' estimates for quarterly results on Thursday, driven by record sales during its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz and demand for its cloud computing business.

The e-commerce giant usually reports its highest revenue in the December quarter due to its mega "Singles' Day" shopping bonanza in November. The company said sales during the 24-hour shopping event hit a record $38.4 billion in 2019.

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A logo of Alibaba Group is pictured at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, October 14, 2015. Reuters

Alibaba primarily generates revenue by selling advertising and promotional services to third-party merchants that list products on its e-commerce sites, Taobao and Tmall. The company said it was supporting the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in China by ensuring the supply of daily necessities and introducing relief measures for its merchants.

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial's MYBank unit has said it would offer 20 billion yuan ($2.86 billion) in loans to companies in China in the wake of the outbreak. The outbreak, which originated in the city of Wuhan, has resulted in companies laying off workers, seeking cheaper funding and struggling to restart production after an extended new year holiday as supply chains remained disrupted.

China's economy expected to get pressurised

The epidemic is expected to pile more pressure on China's economy and comes as the country signed a Phase 1 deal with the United States to ease a protracted trade war that had weighed on its growth. Sales in the company's core commerce business jumped 38 percent to 141.48 billion yuan ($20.26 billion) in the third quarter ended December 31, while revenue at its cloud computing unit surged 62 percent to 10.72 billion yuan.

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders rose to 52.31 billion yuan from 33.05 billion yuan. Excluding items, the company earned 18.19 yuan per American Depository Share. Analysts had expected 15.75 yuan per ADS, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Revenue rose about 38 percent to 161.46 billion yuan, beating estimates of 159.28 billion yuan. US-listed shares of the company were up nearly one percent at $226.30 in premarket trade.

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