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Alibaba revenue jumps 61% but one-time expense hits profit
[SHANGHAI] Chinese retail giant Alibaba said on Thursday that its revenue jumped 61 per cent in the latest quarter as its core e-commerce segment chugged along, but profit for the period was dragged down by a one-off expense.
The Hangzhou-based company said net profit was down 41 per cent to 8.69 billion yuan (S$1.73 billion) in the quarter ending June 30.
But it added that net income would have grown by 33 per cent in the period if not for a compensation award for employees related to Alibaba's payments unit Ant Financial.
Alibaba, which has made billionaire founder Jack Ma one of China's richest men and a global e-commerce icon, has wowed investors quarter after quarter with sterling revenue growth fuelled by the growing appetite of Chinese consumers for one-click online purchases.
But worries have emerged recently over data indicating that China's economy is slowing, including retail sales, as well as the potential impact of the US-China trade war.
Those factors appeared to have no effect on the latest quarter, with revenue meeting analyst forecasts by jumping 61 per cent to 80.92 billion yuan.
"Alibaba had another excellent quarter, with significant user expansion and even more robust engagement across our growing ecosystem," CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement announcing the earnings.
Alibaba's Taobao and Tmall platforms dominate e-commerce in China, but the company has also been pouring investment into a range of new initiatives to broaden its "ecosystem" including bricks-and-mortar retail, cloud computing, digital media, the grocery sector, meal delivery and advertising.