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Alibaba revenue soars ahead of IPO

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August 27
11:20 AM 2014

China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd [IPO-BABA.N], which is expected to go public in New York as early as next month, reported a 46 percent jump in quarterly revenue as growth in the world's largest e-commerce market showed no signs of slowing.

Alibaba accounts for about 80 percent of all online retail sales in China, where rising internet usage and an expanding middle-class helped the company generate gross merchandise volume of $296 billion in the 12 months ended June 30.

The company had 279 million active buyers at the end of June, up 50 percent from a year earlier.

Alibaba's monthly mobile users grew to 188 million, from 163 million in the three months ended March 31 and 136 million as of Dec. 31.

"Our current focus is on increasing mobile (gross merchandise volume) and user engagement," Alibaba said in a U.S. regulatory filing on Wednesday.

With people increasingly accessing the Internet from smartphones and tablets, online companies ranging from social networks such as Facebook Inc (FB.O) to e-commerce companies such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) have been investing heavily to develop their mobile platforms.

"The main positive I take away is that (it) seems the mobile monetization is on a very strong upwards trajectory," Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell told Reuters.

Alibaba's initial public offering, which could top $16 billion to become the largest-ever technology IPO, is expected after the company starts an investor roadshow next week.

Analysts have said the company may be worth $200 billion or more when it goes public, which would make it one of the top 20 companies listed in the United States.

"The results are very positive overall for the forthcoming IPO and I think you can see valuations to head north of $200 billion as we go through the IPO process," Cordwell said.

Revenue from Alibaba's China commerce business increased about 46 percent to $2.15 billion, accounting for most of the total revenue of $2.54 billion in the first quarter ended June. (1.usa.gov/1sBndF6)

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders nearly tripled to $1.99 billion, or 84 cents per share.

The company said Chairman Jack Ma owned 8.8 percent of the company's ordinary shares and Japan's Softbank Corp (9984.T) 34.1 percent at the end of the quarter.

Shares of Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O), which owns 22.4 percent of the company, were up 0.5 percent at $37.99 in early trading on the Nasdaq.

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