Alibaba reported better-than-expected quarterly financial results on Friday fueled by a surge in online retail sales in China and strong growth in the firm's cloud business.
Alibaba said non-GAAP earnings for the quarter ending in March came to $1.30 per share on revenue of $16.14 billion, up 22% year-over-year. Analysts were expecting earnings of 86 cents per share on revenue of $15.2 billion.
The Chinese internet giant said cloud computing revenues climbed 58% to a record $1.725 billion. Alibaba has invested heavily in its cloud platform, expanding its research and development efforts and broadening its product portfolio for cloud customers. During the quarter ending in March, Alibaba said sales increased in both its public cloud and hybrid cloud businesses.
Apart from cloud, the bulk Alibaba's revenue came from its commerce units, comprised of its retail and wholesale e-commerce and logistics businesses. Contributing 82% of its total revenue, the core commerce segment achieved revenue growth of 19% for the quarter to reach $13.25 billion.
The company added 15 million active consumers to its retail marketplaces over the previous quarter to hit 726 million, while mobile active users reached 846 million, up 22 million from the previous quarter. In March 2020, over 300 million daily active users shopped through Alibaba's China retail marketplaces.
"Alibaba achieved the historic milestone of US$1 trillion in GMV across our digital economy this fiscal year," said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, in prepared remarks. "Our overall business continued to experience strong growth, with a total annual active consumer base of 960 million globally, despite concluding the fiscal year with a quarter impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has fundamentally altered consumer behavior and enterprise operations, making digital adoption and transformation a necessity. We are well positioned and prepared to help large and small businesses across a wide spectrum of industries achieve the digital transformation they need to survive this difficult period and eventually prevail in the new normal."