BEIJING: Alibaba Group Holding quarterly sales and earnings beat expectations as growth in cloud computing services bolstered an e-commerce business that continues to defy a slowing Chinese economy.
Revenue at China’s biggest operator of online shopping malls rose 55% to 34.3 billion yuan ($5.1 billion), the company said on Wednesday. That compares with the 33.9 billion-yuan average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Adjusted earnings-per-share were 5.26 yuan, compared with the 4.69 yuan expected by analysts.
Alibaba is capturing even more of a consumer shift to shopping on mobile devices as it uses its massive computing power and investments in data centers to win cloud customers and add a new leg of growth. The results come about a week before the company’s annual Singles’ Day sales event, the world’s biggest 24 hour shopping promotion.
“At this growth rate, Alibaba’s cloud unit could break even as soon as next quarter,“ said Li Muzhi, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Arete Research Services LLP.