HONG KONG — Coming off of a strong fiscal third quarter, Alibaba Group revised its full-year revenue guidance up 5 percentage points to an increase of 53 percent.
“With three quarters of the year coming in ahead of expectations, we are adjusting up our 2017 fiscal year revenue guidance from 48 percent to 53 percent year-over-year growth,” said Maggie Wu, Alibaba’s chief financial officer.
“This quarter we generated $4.9 billion in free cash flow on a non-GAAP basis, enabling us to continue investing in growth areas globally, including cloud computing, digital media and entertainment and innovation initiatives, as well as core commerce,” she added.
The Internet giant said Tuesday that third-quarter revenue surged 54 percent year-on-year, while core commerce operations increased 45 percent to 46.6 billion renminbi, or $6.7 billion, for the three months ended Dec. 31. Net income for the period was 17.2 million renminbi, or $2.5 billion.
All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the three-month period.
Mobile monthly active users on its China retail marketplaces, which include Tmall and Taobao, reached 493 million renminbi (about $74.9 million) in December, increasing by 43 million renminbi (about $6.3 million) dollars over September. Wu added the company was “encouraged” by its mobile user growth and that the company had successfully positioned itself as “the destination of social commerce and brand engagement.”
“The mobile interface is not just a digital shelf but an access point to a fun and entertaining shopping experience,” Alibaba vice chairman Joe Tsai said.
During the earnings call, Tsai also emphasized its “tremendous volume of user data” and said it was in a unique position to provide big data to merchants, creating a highly customized shopping environment. More than 400,000 merchants used Alibaba data to customize their display during its most recent record-breaking Singles Day sale, it said.
On Nov. 11, the company shattered records clocking in $17.4 billion on what is the world’s largest shopping holiday.
Alibaba’s growth is built on a strongly growing consumer economy in China and burgeoning middle class. Last month, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported accelerating online retail sales growth of 25.7 percent for the first 11 months of 2016 compared to 24.9 percent growth for the first 10 months. Overall retail sales growth in China for the month climbed to 10.8 percent in November.