Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) reported its first quarter financial results before the opening bell on Thursday. The Chinese e-commerce giant reported better-than-expected results, sending shares 5% higher during pre-market hours.
For the first quarter, Alibaba reported earnings of RMB 12.55 (USD 1.83) per share on revenue of RMB 114.92 Billion (USD 16.74 Billion) Refinitiv analysts expected earnings RMB 10.25 per share on revenue of RMB 111.73 Billion.
Alibaba witnessed its revenue surge by 42% year-over-year, driven by its increase in annual active consumers and mobile monthly active users. Annual active consumers reached 674 million at the end of the quarter, representing an increase of 20 million year-over-year. Monthly MAUs rose by 34% to 755 million.
The increase in customers on Alibaba’s platforms allowed the Company to deliver a 204% year-over-year increase in income from operations, reaching RMB 24.37 Billion (USD 3.55 Billion).
Primarily, Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall segments drove the stronger-than-expected quarter. Alibaba highlighted that Taobao grew strength in less developed regions because of strong user acquisition programs, such as referrals through Alipay and its Shopping Festival. During the quarter, Taobao reported a 70% increase in annual active consumers in less developed regions.
Tmall reported that physical goods GMV, excluding unpaid orders, grew by 34% year-over-year. The GMV growth was driven by increases in the number of users and average speed, reflecting strength in its fast-moving consumer goods, apparel, consumer electronics, and home furnishing categories.
Alibaba’s cloud computing segment also helped drive the stronger quarter by reporting RMB 7.78 Billion (USD 1.13 Billion) in revenue, representing a 66% increase year-over-year.
“Alibaba had a great quarter, expanding our user base to 674 million annual active consumers, demonstrating our superior user experience,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “We will continue to expand our customer base, increase operating efficiency and deliver robust growth. With strong cash flow from our core commerce business, we will continue to invest in technology and bring digital transformation to millions of businesses globally.”
Alibaba shares have now increased by 23.08% this year.