Alibaba has a "great" quarter as more mobile users and cloud computing customers see revenues shoot up

Natasha Clark
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CeBIT 2013 Technology Trade Fair
Despite China's uncertain economy, sales were boosted in online shopping and cloud computing (Source: Getty)

China-based e-commerce company Alibaba announced strong results for the third quarter today as positive growth of its mobile users and cloud computing ventures saw revenue up 55 per cent since last year.

Shares rose more than three per cent before the stock markets opened in New York on Wednesday.

The company is gearing up for more record-breaking sales on 11 November for Singles' Day (a Chinese festival where young people celebrate being single - by going shopping) despite a US investigation into the company's accounting methods.

The company is looking for a chief cuteness officer to boost sales for the day and is promising a bonanza of pop stars, fashion shows and virtual reality demos to send them into a spending frenzy.

The results

The figures look great for Alibaba. Net reported income was $1.14bn (£926m), or 45 cents a share for the last quarter. The adjusted shares were 79 cents, beating the predicted 70.

Revenue from core commerce increased 41 per cent year-on-year to $4.2bn, cloud computing was up 130 per cent to $224m, digital media and entertainment jumped a whopping 302 per cent to $541m and innovation intiatives peaked 78 per cent to $104m.

The company reported an increase of 23m monthly active users to its retail market place, pushing the total to 450m in September. That's a 30 per cent increase from the same period last year.

The number of paying customers for their cloud computing arm were also up 74,000 from the previous quarter, but still reported an operating loss of $60m.

Why it's interesting

The company said its Taobao shopping app, which has been live streaming fashion and make-up demonstrations, helped boost its revenues, teamed with popular new videos.

And the strong growth in its cloud computing arm has worked out as the company pull in new customers.

What the company said

Alibaba Group had a great quarter. Our results reflect our increasing ability to monetise our 450 million mobile users through new and innovative social commerce experiences,” said Daniel Zhang, chief executive of Alibaba Group.

Beyond the strong performance of our core commerce business, we are pleased with the continued rapid growth of our cloud computing business. We also see huge potential in our newly integrated digital media and entertainment unit. By combining engaging online experiences with highly relevant content, we delivered impressive financial and operational results in the quarter across the company.

In short

More eyes, more prize...

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