Alibaba founder Jack Ma dressed in a cheongsam in 2019 Ali Day

LONDON — Alibaba Group Holding, China’s largest e-commerce operator, released its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended March 31 on Friday.

In the March quarter, when China’s Wuhan was under strict lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, its revenue rose 22 percent to 114.31 billion renminbi, or $16.14 billion, year-on-year, thanks to surging demand from stay-at-home consumers.

But income from operations dropped 19 percent to 7.12 billion renminbi, or $1.01 billion, and net income was down 99 percent to 384 million renminbi, or $49 million.

Alibaba said the decrease was primarily due to “a net loss in investment income, mainly reflecting decreases in the market prices of our equity investments in publicly traded companies, compared to a net gain recorded in the same quarter of 2019.”

Revenue for the full fiscal year 2020 was up 35 percent to 509.71 billion renminbi, or $71.97 billion. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 29 percent to 157.65 billion renminbi, or $22.26 billion, and non-GAAP net income grew 42 percent to 132.47 billion renminbi, or $18.71 billion, year-on-year.

Annual gross merchandise volume in the Alibaba digital economy was 7.05 trillion renminbi, or $1 trillion, and its core commerce revenue grew 19 percent to 93.9 billion renminbi, or $13.3 billion.

Daniel Zhang, chairman and chief executive officer at Alibaba Group, cited passing the $1 trillion mark as a “milestone.”

“The pandemic has fundamentally altered consumer behavior and enterprise operations, making digital adoption and transformation a necessity. We are well-positioned and prepared to help large and small businesses across a wide spectrum of industries achieve the digital transformation they need to survive this difficult period and eventually prevail in the new normal,” Zhang said in a statement.

Maggie Wu, chief financial officer of the company, said Alibaba Group expects to generate more than 650 billion renminbi in revenue in the fiscal year 2021, indicating that the speed of growth will decelerate from the previous year’s 35 percent to 27.5 percent.

“Despite a challenging quarter due to reduced economic activities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, we achieved our annual revenue guidance,” Wu said in a statement. “Although the pandemic negatively impacted most of our domestic core commerce businesses starting in late January, we have seen a steady recovery since March.”

Alibaba’s share price was down 4.7 percent to $202.17 in the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning.


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