Shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba jumped more than 5 percent on Thursday after the company reported a 59 percent year-on-year increase in its first-quarterly revenue to nearly $5 billion.
Revenue for China's largest online marketplace, Alibaba, reached 32.15 billion yuan ($4.83 billion) in the quarter ending in June, the company announced on Thursday.
The news sent Alibaba's share price soaring on Wall Street, where the online retail giant has been listed since 2014. It was the strongest growth Alibaba has logged since its widely celebrated initial public offering.
Alibaba is China's pre-eminent Internet retailer, with its Taobao platform said to control more than 90 percent of the consumer-to-consumer market. Its Tmall platform holds more than half of the business-to-consumer market. Alibaba is often compared to eBay or Amazon in the United States.
Analysts said the spike in revenues was attributable to the company's decision to branch out into other sectors other than just e-commerce, including sports and entertainment.
"The focus of its strategy is no longer (online) retail," a Beijing-based analyst, Li Chengdong, told the AFP news agency. "It has moved to underlying services such as finance, cloud services and logistics."
Alibaba Cloud, which offers storage and computing services on remote servers, grew to 577,000 paying customers in the period from April to June this year, and revenues from that sector grew too.
Despite its massive revenue growth, the company said it had only logged net income of $1.08 billion - a 77 percent drop compared to the same three-month period a year ago.
cjc/pad (AFP, Reuters)