Alibaba's Revenue Surges, Fueled by Consumer Demand

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said Thursday its net profit nearly doubled in the latest quarter on the back of solid revenue growth in its core shopping business and in cloud computing.

Alibaba - one of the most valuable companies in Asia - is benefiting from more Chinese consumers buying an increasing proportion of everything from food to clothing to luxury items online.

Sales rose to 50.2 billion yuan (US$7.5 billion) in its first quarter ended June, surpassing the 47.9 billion yuan consensus estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Alibaba gained 86% of its total revenue from online retail, but saw a huge jump in its cloud business.

Revenue from core commerce increased 58% year-over-year to 43.03 billion yuan, it said.

Alibaba's cloud business boosted its total global data centres to 17 during the first quarter, with the addition of two centres in India and Indonesia.

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Shares of Alibaba are up 4.68% in early trading Thursday after the earnings beat.

Alibaba said net income in the quarter which ended June 30 was 14.7 billion yuan ($2.2 billion), a year-on-year increase of 94 percent.

Revenue from China commerce retail business in the quarter was 36.71 billion yuan, an increase of 57% compared with year-ago quarter, the company said.

Alibaba's stock is up more than 81 per cent this year, buoyed by company predictions of strong full-year revenue growth of between 45 and 49 per cent.

Alibaba, though, is yet to prove the value of several recent large-scale investments, including $2.6-billion in department store chain Intime Retail Group Co Ltd, among other brick-and-mortar investments.

Chief executive Daniel Zhang also confirmed the company led a $1.1 billion (€939 million) investment in Southeast Asian retailer Tokopedia, adding to its expanding network of assets in the region.

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