Alibaba.com, China's largest e-commerce firm, beat forecasts with a 29 per cent rise in quarterly net profit, its smallest rise in about one-and-a-half years, and warned that the adverse global economic outlook could hit its second half.
Alibaba.com, the listed unit of Alibaba Group, which is 40 per cent owned by Yahoo Inc, operates an e-commerce website that links Chinese small businesses looking to sell their goods to overseas buyers, which makes its turnover sensitive to the performance of the world's major economies such as the United States and Europe, which are struggling with crippling debt crises.
"The global economy, especially in Europe and America, we think will turn weak," said Jonathan Lu, chief executive of Alibaba.com.
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Alibaba.com said revenue from its China Gold Supplier package was up 20 per cent at 921.19 million yuan in the quarter, contributing 56 per cent to total revenues, it said in a statement on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
But paying members fell 2.1 per cent from the previous quarter to 832,469. Its China Gold Supplier package and Global Gold Supplier package saw a 3.7 per cent and 3.2 per cent fall in subscribers, respectively, as the company tried to control the quality of subscribers.
"If you look at their growth rate next year, it will probably slow down as well," said Dick Wei, an analyst of JPMorgan in Hong Kong. "I think the negative outlook of the macro-economy will also affect them as well."
Net profit in April-June jumped to 464.55 million yuan (Dh266 million) from 362.96 million yuan a year earlier. That beat the average forecast of 420.4 million yuan from five analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.