Alibaba posts first loss in nearly a decade following record fine

Alibaba has posted its first loss in nearly a decade after a record antitrust fine from Chinese authorities hammered margins.

The Chinese ecommerce giant posted a first quarter loss of $1.17 billion yesterday, marking its worst financial results since 2012.

Despite swinging into the red, Alibaba saw revenues jump 64 per cent during the three months to the end of March, topping $28.6 billion to beat analyst estimates.

It blamed the sharp drop in profits to the record $2.8 billion fine regulators imposed on the tech giant earlier this year, accusing it of forcing merchants to choose to sell on it or other platforms. #

Without the fine, Alibaba says it would have achieved an operating profit of around $1.6 billion during the quarter, marking a 48 per cent increase year-on-year.#

READ MORE: Alibaba freezes executives pay rises amid government crackdown on big tech

Meanwhile Alibaba celebrated topping 1 billion active users for the year to the end of March for the first time in its history, seeing the users numbers skyrocket by 84 million during the year.

“Our overall business delivered strong growth on a healthy foundation, with the Alibaba Ecosystem generating a record US$1.2 trillion in GMV during this fiscal year,” chief executive Daniel Zhang said.

“Such achievements were built on top of clear value propositions that we offer to consumers and merchants.

“We remain very excited about the growth of China’s consumption economy, which is benefiting from the acceleration of digitalization in all aspects of life and work.

“We will continue to focus on customer experience and value creation through innovation, as we pursue our mission to make it easy to do business anywhere in the digital era.”

Looking ahead, Alibaba said it expects revenues to jump a further 30 per cent in the year to March 2022 to around $144 billion.

While this would mark a slow down of growth compared to 41 per cent growth seen this year, it still beats average analysts estimates comfortably.

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