Alibaba reports slowing growth ahead of float

Michael Bow
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ALIBABA Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant aiming for the largest stock market float in history, yesterday said revenue growth slowed dramatically last quarter, causing shares in co-owner Yahoo to tumble.

The group, which wants to beat Facebook’s mammoth $15bn initial public offering by generating a market cap of $170bn, said fourth quarter revenue rose 38 per cent, slower than the 62 per cent growth in the same period last year.

The disclosure led Yahoo’s shares to fall, closing 5.8 per cent lower at $34.81.

Yahoo owns around a quarter of Alibaba and is impacted by the Chinese group’s performance.

Alibaba said its net income for the three months ending 31 March rose 32 per cent to 5.54bn yuan (£524m) on revenues of 12bn yuan.

The figures were revealed in an updated filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the body Alibaba must file documents with in order to list on the US stock market.

The group, led by chief executive Jack Ma, also unveiled the 27-man committee that will subsequently nominate the firm’s nine-strong board.

Alibaba said the former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs, Michael Evans – once considered a contender for the top at the bank – will join the board alongside Yahoo founder Jerry Yang and former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee Hwa.

In keeping with other tech companies, the business reported strong mobile growth, with revenue as a percentage of total sales up 12 per cent in the quarter versus 2.2 per cent in the same period last year.

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