Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's revenue grew at its slowest pace in three years last quarter, as the ongoing US-China trade spat and a general slowdown in the region weighed heavily on its busiest period.
Asia's second most valuable public company published revenue of 117.28bn yuan (£13.4bn) for the three months to 31 December, compared to 83bn yuan a year earlier. This slightly missed consensus estimates of 118.9bn yuan, as compiled by Refinitiv, and came after Alibaba had already trimmed its sales outlook by six per cent in November.
However Alibaba's net income rose 33 per cent to reach 30.9bn yuan, topping estimates of 22.1bn yuan and sending its share price up two per cent in pre-market trade.
The third quarter usually plays host to Alibaba's biggest revenue haul of the year, as it contains the world's biggest online sales event Singles' Day. Though the e-commerce firm scored a record intake of $30bn (£22.9bn) on 2018's Singles' Day, the event's annual growth dropped to its weakest rate in its decade-long history.
Alibaba group chief executive Daniel Zhang said the firm had "another strong quarter", with growth driven by its cloud and data technology segments.
Revenue for its cloud business rose 84 per cent year-on-year to 6.6bn yuan, while its entertainment and media business rose 20 per cent to 6.5bn yuan.
“In the December quarter, we delivered strong top-line growth of 41 per cent year-over-year,” said Maggie Wu, Alibaba's chief financial officer. She added that this quarter's profitability would be re-invested into building "other important strategic businesses and technology".
China's economic growth in 2018 slowed to its weakest in almost 30 years, with growth expected to decline even further this year.