Alibaba Group posted a strong jump in revenue in the second quarter while its net profit almost tripled to CNY12.4 billion ($2 billion) from a year ago.
The better-than-expected results come just weeks before the company’s much anticipated IPO in the US, which analysts now are forecasting to have a valuation of more than $200 billion. That would make it the largest tech IPO ever – topping both Amazon and eBay.
The company’s Q2 revenue climbed 46 per cent to CNY15.77 billion ($2.54 billion) compared with the same period in 2013. The growth is up from a 39-per cent revenue increase in Q1, which had disappointed some analysts.
The surge in its net income was due to CNY6.76 billion in interest and investment income.
Its focus on a mobile platform is paying off, with mobile revenue doubling from the previous quarter to CNY2.45 billion. Mobile now accounts for a third of gross merchandise transactions – up from 27 per cent the previous quarter.
That is expected to continue to rise as shoppers increasing turn to mobile devices to make purchases.
The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reported in July that 83 per cent the country’s 632 million internet users now access the internet via mobile devices. That’s up 18 percentage points since 2011, or an addition of about 210 million mobile internet users.
Alibaba said annual active buyers increased 50 per cent to 279 million from a year ago (up 9 per cent from the previous quarter) while the average buyer made 52 orders in the last year (up from 45 a year ago).
The number of annual active sellers was up 11 per cent to 8.5 million from Q1, and mobile monthly active users (MAUs) rose 15 per cent to 188 million.
The company’s spending on sales and marketing jumped 70 per cent year-on-year to CNY1.2 billion, and R&D spending increased 68 per cent to CNY1.9 billion.
Its Taobao marketplace, aimed at smaller merchants, saw gross merchandise revenue increase 33 per cent to CNY342 billion while Tmall’s expanded 81 per cent to CNY159 billion.
In a filing Alibaba said it had drawn down a $8 billion credit facility and has arranged another $3 billion line of credit.