Alibaba growth slowest in three years

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2015 7:04 AM

By Paul Carsten

BEIJING (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's revenue for the three months ended June rose 28 percent, missing analysts' estimates, with growth slowing to its lowest rate in more than three years.

China's biggest e-commerce company posted quarterly revenues of $3.27 billion, below an expected $3.39 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate poll of 28 analysts.

The drop in revenue growth came as gross merchandise volume (GMV) -- the total value of goods transacted across Alibaba's platforms -- rose 34 percent to 673 billion yuan ($105 billion), also rising at its slowest pace in more than three years.

Alibaba, which has a market value of $194 billion, is branching out from its core online-only shopping platforms in a bid to stem a slowdown in revenue growth and the total value of goods transacted over its websites.

"(We) made significant progress monetizing our mobile traffic, with our mobile revenue exceeding 50 percent of our total China commerce retail revenue for the first time," said Maggie Wu, Alibaba's chief financial officer, in a press release on Wednesday.

On Monday, Alibaba said it would invest $4.6 billion in bricks-and-mortar retailer Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd, a deal that could give it more traction in logistics and electronics, areas in which smaller but growing rival JD.com specializes.

Alibaba's strategic priorities are internationalization, beating out competition in mobile, expanding into rural China and investing in cloud computing, Chief Executive Daniel Zhang said in Wednesday's release.

The company's non-GAAP net income was $1.5 billion for its first quarter for the financial year ended March, 2016, up 30 percent year-on-year.

The company also announced a $4 billion, two-year share repurchase program.

Alibaba shares have fallen 26 percent since the beginning of the year, and were trading down 6.9 percent before the market open in New York on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Mark Potter)