Alibaba revenue, profit beat as online sales surge during lockdown

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FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at an exhibition during the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

(Reuters) – China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit on Friday, as the COVID-19 lockdowns drove more people to shop online for essentials.

The health crisis forced people to stay indoors and brick-and-mortar remained shut, resulting in a surge in demand for online orders.

Sales from the company’s core commerce business rose nearly 19% to 93.87 billion yuan ($13.16 billion) in the fourth quarter and revenue at its cloud computing business surged about 58%.

The e-commerce giant said it expects to generate over 650 billion yuan in revenue in fiscal 2021.

Overall revenue rose to 114.31 billion yuan ($16.02 billion) in the fourth quarter ended March 31 from about 93.50 billion yuan a year earlier.

Analysts had expected revenue of 107.04 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, the company earned 9.20 yuan per American Depository Share (ADS). Analysts were expecting 6.10 yuan per ADS, according to Refinitiv data.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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