Alibaba Q3 beats forecasts

In the face of a slowdown in Chinese economic growth Alibaba beat growth forecasts in Q3, buoyed up by its logistics arm Cainiao.

“Alibaba had another strong quarter. Our resilient operating and financial performance is a direct reflection of our persistent focus on better serving our growing base of nearly 700 million consumers across retail, digital entertainment and local consumer services,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “Our growth is also driven by the power of Alibaba’s cloud and data technology that helps expedite the digital transformation of millions of enterprises.”

“In the December quarter, we delivered strong top-line growth of 41% year-over-year,” said Maggie Wu, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group. “The profitability of our marketplace-based core commerce business, as measured by adjusted EBITA, was RMB54.3 billion (US$7.9 billion), representing a 31% year-over-year growth. This profitability and US$7.5 billion in free cash flow generated this quarter enable us to continue to invest in other important strategic businesses and technology to support the growth of our ecosystem.”

Regarding Cainiao the company stated, “During the 2018 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, Cainiao processed an unprecedented over 1 billion delivery orders, demonstrating Cainiao’s capability to coordinate a complex logistics ecosystem at massive scale. Internationally, we saw continued growth in Chinese consumer demand for high quality imports from Japan, the United States, South Korea, Australia and Germany – the top five countries selling into China during the festival. To ensure a smooth and timely delivery experience for consumers during the festival, Cainiao and its partners operated 34 bonded warehouses in major ports throughout China to facilitate same-day or next-day delivery of overseas orders.”

A note on the Chinese ‘slowdown’. This is from double digit growth to single digit growth as the economy matures. At 6% average this is still a huge leap above more established economies such as the US and EU…