Alibaba’s profit up 132 percent

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SHANGHAI (AFP) – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said yesterday that soaring sales fuelled a 132 percent increase in net profit in what it called an “outstanding” quarter, as the firm raised its expectations for full-year revenue growth.

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China’s biggest e-commerce company said net profit for the three months ending September 30 reached 17.67 billion yuan, ($2.67 billion), up from 7.62 billion yuan in the same period of 2016.

“We had an outstanding quarter,” Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu said in a statement.

“This quarter we delivered excellent results, with overall revenue growth of 61 percent demonstrating the robust momentum in our core commerce business and across the Alibaba economy.”

Alibaba said revenue growth in the quarter was fuelled in large part by technological innovations including the app for its key Taobao online shopping, which it said has a growing capability to anticipate and suggest shopping options to its hundreds of millions of users.

Revenues in the quarter, the second in Alibaba’s fiscal year, came it at 55.1 billion yuan, topping an analyst estimate of 52 billion yuan compiled by Bloomberg News.

The company was now raising its growth forecast for revenues in the full fiscal year to 49-53 percent, compared to a previous expectation of 45-49 percent growth, citing the expected beneficial impact of its plan to take control of logistics company Cainiao.

Alibaba, which has made billionaire founder Jack Ma one of China’s richest men and a global e-commerce icon, has been on a roll, regularly beating revenue estimates and watching as investors have driven its New York-listed shares up 110 percent since the start of the year.

Investor optimism for the future has been a key ingredient in the rally, with Alibaba raising expectations as it continues to adapt to, and profit from, the Chinese e-commerce boom that it helped to ignite.

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