Alibaba revenue surges 60 pct in 4th fiscal quarter

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Alibaba Group Holding's revenue beat analysts' estimates, powered by Chinese consumers' growing appetite for quality merchandise.

Alibaba, which runs China's most popular online shopping websites, Taobao and Tmall, also said Thursday that the company's board approved a $6 billion share buyback over the next two years to prevent share dilution.

Alibaba's total revenue rose about 60 percent to 38.58 billion yuan ($5.60 billion) in the quarter ended March 31, versus an average forecast of 36 billion yuan according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

This is up by 60 percent when compared with the same period a year ago; which saw a quarterly profit of US$2.4 billion, Xinhua News Agency reported. It reported adjusted earnings of 63 cents a share, missing the consensus of 66 cents (4.53 yuan).

"Investors will be paying attention to Alibaba's top-line growth guidance for next year", Ray Zhao, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities, told Bloomberg News. That is helping fuel billionaire founder Jack Ma's global expansion plan, which includes helping a million American businesses tap Chinese consumers, buying control of South-east Asian start-up Lazada Group, and reaching foreign shoppers through AliExpress.

Alibaba's robust overall sales reflected the strength of the Chinese e-commerce market, with revenue from the core e-commerce business increasing 47% to 31.57 billion yuan ($4.58 billion).

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"Chinese consumers are driving the shift of the Chinese economy from an export and investment-led to a consumption-led economy", Tsai said.

Full year revenue from digital media and entertainment increased 271 per cent year-over-year to US$2.14 billion.

"We reported another excellent quarter, with revenue growth accelerating to 60%, the highest growth rate we've achieved since our IPO", Alibaba's chief financial officer Maggie Wu was quoted as saying in a phone conference announcing results.

Alibaba shares fell as much as 4 percent in the early trading.

Ant is behind Alipay, a platform that accounts for 80 percent of electronic payments in China where it is used for e-commerce at Alibaba online venues and a large number of mobile applications. It closed the year with a loss of 1.68 billion yuan (US$244 million), improving on last year's operating loss of 2.61 billion yuan (US$378.1 million).

It also 97 million monthly mobile active users to reach 507 million, with active buyers for the year totally 454 million.

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