Alibaba grows revenue by 51% – deemed world’s second largest retailer by Kantar’s BrandZ

Alibaba Group’s quarterly and annual financial results reveal that the retail and technology firm has increased revenue by 51% year-on-year.

Its revenue for the full fiscal year stood at RMB376.8 billion (US$56.2 billion), more than doubling 2018’s figures.

The annual active consumers on its China retail marketplaces stood at 654 million, an increase of 102 million when compared to March 2018. Demonstrating the success of its mobile-led approach, the number of monthly mobile active users on its China retail marketplaces stood at 721 million in March 2019 – again, an increase of 104 million over last year.

The quarterly revenue of its international commerce retail business stood at RMB4.9 billion (US$737 million), up 25% from the same quarter of 2018.

Factors enabling the increase included the consolidation of Tendyol, a leading e-commerce platform in Turkey and increased revenue from AliExpress. Lazada’s revenue was down by 4% in the quarter ending in March 2019, due to a decline in revenue from its direct sales business. Throughout the last quarter, Alibaba-owned Lazada was said to be pivoting to a marketplace model – reducing its exposure to direct sales which also factored in inventory costs.

Lazada’s quarterly revenue from its digital media and entertainment business was up by 8% and stood at RMB5.6 billion (US$845 million), an increase of 8% compared to the same quarter of 2018. The increase was attributed to greater revenue from mobile value-added services.

In addition, Alibaba was judged the second most valuable retail brand in the world according to the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Retail Brands report for 2019 by Kantar; defeating McDonald’s. It was valued at $131.2 billion, registering a 48% increase in brand value. It was still less than half that of the leading retail brand, Amazon, which stood at $315.5 billion – according to the research.

The BrandZ report said: “Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, the world’s largest online and mobile commerce business, arguably has more innovations than Amazon such as partnering with Starbucks to have Starbucks in all Alibaba properties, and disrupting its logistics model to better facilitate super-fast delivery.”

The report also made mention of Alibaba’s Single’s Day, stating: “Alibaba has turned ‘Singles Day’ into the world’s biggest ever shopping event: sales in 2018 were $30.8 billion, with the first $1 billion achieved in under two minutes. In all, the most recent 11.11 event led to more than 1 billion parcels being delivered.”

The BrandZ report was based on a brand valuation methodology which combines extensive and on-going consumer insights with rigorous financial analysis. The full report can be read here

Alibaba founder Jack Ma had outlined a vision for the group which aimed to create two billion customers by 2036, 10 million profitable businesses and 100 million jobs.


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