China's biggest e-commerce company Alibaba had a bumper 2016 with a better-than-expected 54 percent rise in third-quarter revenue.
Alibaba's revenue hit 53.25bn yuan (£6.16bn) for the three months ended 31 December, compared with analysts' average estimate of 50.10bn yuan.
The tech giant's e-commerce business boomed 45 per cent, up from the 41 per cent jump in the previous quarter.
Net income attributable to the company's shareholders increased 43 percent to $2.57bn, or $1 per share.
Read more: Alibaba smashes record sales on Singles Day
Why it's interesting
The sales boost was driven by Singles' Day, the world's biggest online shopping day of the year. Alibaba sold $1bn worth of goods within the first five minutes of the event.
The tech giant is also eyeing up different revenue streams including data, cloud, artificial intelligence and logistics projects.
Earlier this month, it made a $2.6bn bid to take Chinese department store operator Intime Retail Group private fuelling speculation Alibaba is moving into physical stores.
In November, it announced plans to invest $305m in Chinese supermarket chain Sanjang Shopping Club.
What Alibaba said
In a statement, chief executive Daniel Zhang, said: “Our robust December quarter demonstrates the strength of the Chinese consumer and Alibaba’s ability to create value across our vast ecosystem. The 11.11 shopping festival featured Alibaba at its best, integrating commerce, entertainment and social engagement, all happening globally at record scale. We are driving the age of ‘new retail,’ which leverages big data and innovation to provide a seamless online and offline experience for nearly half a billion mobile monthly active users. This retail transformation will make it even easier and more efficient for brands and retailers to engage with these consumers anywhere, anytime.”
Alibaba's move into physical stores this year is expected to boost the e-commerce giant's retail dominance.