Alibaba’s financial report for the past quarter (January 1 to March 31, 2018), and for the fiscal year of 2018 has just been published by Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) today.
Key stats included:
- Annual revenue grew by 58%;
- E-commerce revenue grown by 60%;
- Annual profit grew by over 40%;
- Annual free cash flow reached US$15.8 billion.
Notably, Alibaba Group’s yearly revenue, e-commerce business, and retail platform’s annual active consumers have all achieved the highest growth since its IPO. Tmall, Alibaba’s e-commerce platform for branded merchandise, has experienced a continued increase in its market share, thus consolidating its leadership in the B2C market further; Alibaba Cloud continues to double in size for the 12th consecutive quarter. Wu Wei, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group, said that in the 2019 fiscal year, the overall revenue growth of Alibaba Group is expected to exceed 60%.
In the fiscal year of 2018, Alibaba Group’s revenue reached 250.266 billion RMB ($39.3B USD) with a year-on-year growth rate of 58%, marking the highest growth rate since its IPO. Its core e-commerce business income of 2017 was 214.020 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 60%, which also marked the highest annual increase since the IPO. The annual active consumers on China’s retail platform reached 552 million, with an increase of 37 million from Dec 2016 to Dec 2017. The number of new active consumers in the past quarter too reached a new high since its IPO.
Ant Financial Suffered a Net Loss
According to the report, Ant Financial continued to aggressively invest in user acquisition growth in the past quarter, which resulted in a fiscal net loss.
It is worth noting that, for the very first time Alibaba announced the number of global active users of Alipay in its financial report:
In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, Alipay, together with its global JV partners, served around 870 million active users globally. Meanwhile, Ant Financial also contributed to Chinese economy by serving more than 15 million small businesses through lending, cash management and insurance services.
On February 1st this year, Alibaba and Ant Financial announced that according to a strategic agreement signed by both parties in 2014, Alibaba will take a 33% equity stake in Ant Financial through a Chinese subsidiary.
Tmall continued to gain market share.
Data shows that for the fiscal year 2018, Tmall reached a 45% of year-over-year growth for physical goods GMV, exceeding the 32.2% growth rate of online retail sales reported by the National Bureau of Statistics in March this year. Tmall continued to expand its leading advantage in the B2C market.
In terms of cross-border and international retail business, the strong growth of Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada and global retail market platform AliExpress led to a year-on-year growth of 94% in the revenue of international commerce retail business for the fiscal year ended in March 31st, 2018. Tmall Global has become the top platform for overseas brands and retailers to reach Chinese consumers. As of March 2018, there were over 18,000 brands from 74 countries and regions selling products to China through Tmall Global.
The revenue of cloud computing is growing rapidly
Driven by the robust growth of paying customers and changes of revenue structure brought by high value-added products, Alibaba Cloud revenue grew by 101%, reaching $13.39 billion yuan ($2.10B USD). Cloud computing revenue in the fourth quarter grew by 103% to 4.385 billion yuan, maintaining its double growth rate in for the 12th consecutive quarter.
The revenue growth of fiscal year 2019 is expected to exceed 60% year-on-year.
Based on a relatively high degree of predictability of growth for 2019 and the tremendous growth potential in the doubled investment in technology as well as new retail in the past year, Alibaba has ratcheted up its expected growth rate of 2019 fiscal year to 60%.
Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, stated, “Alibaba Group had an excellent quarter and fiscal year due to a robust growth in our core commerce business as well as the long-term investments made over the past several years. With the continuing roll-out of our New Retail strategy, Alibaba’s e-commerce platform is developing into the leading retail infrastructure of China. In the past year, we also doubled investments on technological development, cloud computing, logistics, digital entertainment and local services, so that we are in a position to drive consumption growth in China and other emerging markets.”