Alibaba Reports Loss Due to Antitrust Fine

LONDON — Alibaba Group on Thursday released results for the quarter and fiscal year ended March 31 that showed an operating loss for the first time as a public company as a result of the historic $2.78 billion fine imposed by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation pursuant to its monopolistic behaviors.

Alibaba reported a loss of 7.66 billion renminbi, or $1.17 billion in the quarter, a first since 2012. Excluding this one-time impact, however, its income from operations would have jumped 48 percent year-over-year to 10.56 billion renminbi, or $1.61 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 18 percent year-over-year to 29.89 billion renminbi, or $4.56 billion.

Revenue from the quarter was 187.39 billion renminbi, or $28.60 billion, an increase of 64 percent year-over-year, beating Wall Street expectations.

For fiscal year 2021, income from operations fell by 2 percent year-over-year to 89.67 billion renminbi, or $13.68 billion, due to the fine, as well as an increase in a 16.05 billion renminbi, or $2.49 billion, share-based compensation plan for employees.

Overall adjusted EBITDA increased 25 percent year-over-year to 196.8 billion renminbi, or $30,04 billion, in the period, while adjusted EBITA for marketplace-based core commerce, which includes Tmall and Luxury Pavilion, increased 17 percent to 229.13 billion renminbi, or $34.97 billion.

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Revenue from the period increase by 41 percent year-over-year to 717.28 billion renminbi, or $109.48 billion.

Gross merchandise volume transacted in the group’s ecosystem, where annual active consumers reached more than 1 billion in fiscal year 2021, was 8.12 trillion renminbi, or $1.24 trillion in the period. China retail marketplaces gross merchandise volume was 7.49 billion renminbi, or $1.14 billion.

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the company remains “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.”

The group’s chief financial officer Maggie Wu added that the company expects revenue for fiscal year 2022 will rise at least 30 percent to more than 930 billion renminbi, and said the group plans to use all of its incremental profits and additional capital in fiscal year 2022 to support merchants and invest into new businesses and key strategic areas.

Alibaba also mentioned consumption upgrading helped to drive its business, and said “more consumers are purchasing from flagship stores of high-end brands and international retailers on our platforms.”

So far, more than 200 luxury brands and retailers, including Cartier, Farfetch, Gucci, IWC and Van Cleef & Arpels, have opened flagship stores on the group’s retail marketplaces in China.

Livestreaming was one of fastest-growing ways for merchants to engage with consumers alongside short-form videos, interactive games and microblogs on its Taobao mobile application, the company revealed.

Gross merchandise volume from Taobao Live, the livestreaming arm of the plaform, reached more than 500 billion renminbi, or $76.3 billion, in fiscal year 2021.


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