Alibaba’s latest Q2 2015 earnings have dropped and the company, which was expected to have a difficult quarter, has beaten expectations with $3.488 billion in revenue and adjusted earnings per share of $0.57. The Chinese firm said revenue increased 32 percent year-on-year to beat analyst expectations of $3.39 billion, as polled by the Wall Street Journal.
Beyond revenue and EPS, GMV (gross merchant volume) is an important indicator for Alibaba as it represents total sales out across its marketplace and other e-commerce services. The company warned of a slowdown last month, but it logged a decent 28 percent year-on-year increase to reach $112 billion in GMV during the quarter.
Mobile is a challenge for Alibaba, since it makes more money from desktop-based users, but the growth of smartphones means it continues to rise in importance. Mobile devices accounted for 62 percent of GMV on Alibaba’s China marketplaces — that’s around $1.65 billion in monetary terms — which is up 183 percent year-on-year. Better ad tailoring and understanding users can help on mobile — and these are some of the reasons why Alibaba has offered to buy Youku Tudou, China’s largest video service, for $3.5 billion.
On the subject of users, the firm reported 386 million annual active buying customers over the past year. That’s up from 367 million one year ago. Alibaba said also that it has 346 million monthly active users on mobile devices, that’s up 59 year-on-year and 13 percent quarter-on-quarter.
A further area of note for Alibaba is cloud computing. It invested $1 billion into its Aliyun cloud business this summer, and during the last quarter it launched an artificial intelligence service, and opened an international HQ in Singapore and its second data center in the U.S.. Alibaba said today that Aliyun revenue increased 128 percent year-on-year to hit $102 million during the last quarter — that’s not exactly the size of its e-commerce footprint, but its increasingly a strategic business for the firm.
Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang called the quarter a “great” one “with strong growth across the board and particular outperformance in mobile.”
“We continued our efforts to drive healthy GMV growth, deliver an unparalleled consumer experience and help quality merchants do business on our platform. We are winning in mobile and remain focused on our top strategic priorities, including internationalization, expanding our ecosystem from cities to villages, and building a world-class cloud computing business,” Zhang said in a statement.
Investors seem to agree, and the company’s stock price jumped nearly 10 percent on news of the results.