Alibaba Group Holding announced higher-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday, as the Chinese e-commerce giant benefitted from the country’s relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.
The firm has withstood China’s sluggish economy, which just loosened its zero-COVID policy last December after three years.
Sales increased 2 per cent to 247.76 billion yuan (USD 35.92 billion) in the fiscal third quarter ended 31 December.
Alibaba shares in the United States were up 6.1 per cent in pre-market activity, while Pinduoduo Inc and JD.com Inc were both up roughly 3 per cent.
According to media estimates, China’s overall retail sales fell 1.8 per cent in December.
Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders increased 69 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to 46.82 billion yuan from 27.69 billion yuan.
Customer management revenue, which handles vendor payments and is Alibaba’s largest sales sector, declined 9 per cent YoY.
According to Alibaba, gross merchandise volume, or the value of transactions across the company’s online shopping platforms, “declined mid-single-digit year on year, primarily due to soft consumption demand and ongoing competition, as well as a surge in COVID-19 cases in China, which resulted in supply chain and logistics disruptions in December.”
The Chinese economy and consumption are on the mend, it said.
“Going forward, we anticipate further rebound in consumer morale and economic activity,” stated Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang in a press release.
According to media reports, Founder Jack Ma has been spending much of his time outside of China, in areas such as Japan and Australia, since the start of the crackdown.