Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s stock took a beating after it posted the slowest revenue growth in three years in fiscal Q1, with revenue rising 28 per cent to CNY20.2 billion ($3.27 billion), well below analysts’ forecast.
Its shares fell more than 5 per cent to $73.47 yesterday and are down almost 30 per cent this year — just 8 per cent above its $68 IPO price.
The company’s stellar growth has slowed as China’s economy is weakening and the currency has depreciated (last quarter its revenue increased by 45 per cent.)
But its strategy to shift more services to mobile has yielded results, with mobile revenue during the quarter ending 30 June jumping 225 per cent to CNY7.98 billion.
Alibaba CFO Maggie Wu said the company made “significant progress monetising” its mobile traffic, with mobile revenue exceeding 50 per cent of its total China commerce retail revenue for the first time.
Mobile gross merchandising volumes (GMV) increased 125 per cent year-on-ear to CNY371 billion, accounting for 55 per cent of total GMV transacted on its China retail marketplaces.
Mobile Monthly Active Users grew just 6 per cent to 307 million during the quarter, but were up 63 per cent from 188 million a year ago.
Overall GMV on its China retail marketplaces rose 34 per cent to CNY673 billion, while its China retail marketplaces had 367 million annual active buyers, up almost 5 per cent from Q1.
Sales and marketing expenses rose during the quarter to CNY2.24 billion, or 11 per cent of revenue compared to 8 per cent a year ago, due to an increase in share-based compensation expense. The increase was also due to the consolidation of marketing expenses of acquired businesses (mainly UCWeb and AutoNavi), and an increase in advertising and promotional spending mainly to promote its new business initiatives.
The company’s net income expanded by 148 per cent to CNY30.8 billion, but the majority of that (CNY24.7 billion) was a one-time gain resulting from its deconsolidation of Alibaba Pictures.
It also announced a $4 billion share repurchase programme over two years designed to offset the impact of its share-based compensation programmes.