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What Drove Alibaba’s Revenue in Fiscal Q1 2019?


Aug. 27 2018, Updated 11:25 a.m. ET

Alibaba’s revenue during the quarter that ended on June 30

The quarter that ended on June 30 marked the first quarter of Alibaba Group Holding’s (BABA) fiscal 2019. Its revenue rose 61% YoY (year-over-year) to 80.9 billion Chinese yuan ($12.2 billion). Strong revenue growth from its Chinese commerce retail business and Alibaba Cloud along with its mergers with Cainiao Network and Rajax Holding (also known as Ele.me) drove the company’s revenue growth.

The Core Commerce, Cloud Computing, Digital Media and Entertainment, and Innovation Initiatives and Others segments saw revenue rises of 61%, 93%, 46%, and 64%, respectively, in the quarter. The segments generated revenues of 69.2 billion yuan ($10.5 billion), 4.7 billion yuan ($710 million), 6 billion yuan ($903 million), and 1.1 billion yuan ($160 million), respectively.

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Core Commerce segment

Revenue from the Chinese commerce retail business rose 47% to 54 billion yuan ($8.2 billion). A higher average unit price per click and a higher physical goods GMV (gross merchandise value) on Tmall drove the company’s customer management revenue and commission revenue, respectively. Its new retail businesses, including Tmall Import, Hema Fresh, and Intime, stimulated growth in other revenue.

The number of annual active customers and mobile monthly active users in Chinese retail marketplaces increased 24% and 20% to 576 million and 634 million, respectively, in the 12 months that ended on June 30.

Chinese commerce wholesale business revenue rose 37% to 2.3 billion yuan ($340 million). Higher average revenue from the 1688.com platform drove this growth. Revenue from the international commerce retail business rose 64% to 4.3 billion yuan ($652 million). Higher revenue from Lazada and AliExpress drove this revenue growth.

International commerce wholesale business revenue rose 14% to 1.8 billion yuan ($278 million). A rise in the number of paid members on Alibaba.com drove this revenue growth. Other revenue drivers included Cainiao and Ele.me.

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Cloud Computing

Revenue from the Cloud Computing segment rose 93% to 4.7 billion yuan ($710 million) in the fiscal first quarter of 2019. A higher value-added products and services revenue mix and a steady rise in the number of paying customers drove this revenue growth.

Digital Media and Entertainment

Youku’s higher subscription revenue and UCWeb’s mobile value-added services drove the Digital Media and Entertainment segment’s 46% revenue growth to 6 billion yuan ($903 million) in the quarter.

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Innovation Initiatives and Others

Higher revenue from Tmall Genie drove the Innovation Initiatives and Others segment’s 64% revenue growth to 1.1 billion yuan ($160 million) in the quarter.

Alibaba’s revenue projections

Analysts expect Alibaba to see a 61.4% YoY rise in revenue to 89 billion yuan in the quarter that will end on September 30. Their revenue forecasts for the fiscal years ending in March 2019, 2020, and 2021 are 397.3 billion yuan, 548.1 billion yuan, and 711 billion yuan, respectively.

Peer comparison

Amazon’s (AMZN), eBay’s (EBAY), and Walmart’s (WMT) revenues were $52.9 billion, $2.6 billion, and $128 billion, respectively, in their comparable quarters. JD.com’s (JD) revenue in the quarter was 122.3 billion yuan ($18.5 billion).


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