Alibaba’s Q4 2014 earnings report – its second financial release since its huge IPO – just came out.
Firstly, here are the ecommerce-related bits:
Here’s what all that expenditure looks like relative to its number of active shoppers:
China’s entire ecommerce market totaled US$315.75 billion in spending in 2013, according to eMarketer, and then grew to reach US$426.26 billion in 2014. But Alibaba’s figures suggest that data errs on the side of being conservative.
Alibaba, which already dominates ecommerce in China, attributed the growth to “an increase in the number of active buyers and also partially attributable to category expansion, for example, auction transactions.”
Mobile spending explodes
Turning to mobile spending on Alibaba’s sites:
While more mobile spending sounds good in theory, it actually hurt Alibaba in terms of revenues. “The lower revenue growth relative to GMV growth was mainly a result of the higher percentage of total GMV contributed by mobile GMV, which has a lower monetization rate compared to the non-mobile monetization rate,” explains the company’s report.
Things are more mixed on the financials front. Although the ecommerce numbers increased, Alibaba missed analyst expectations on revenue. On the plus side, it beat expectations on earnings per share. Here are the raw numbers:
Alibaba explained the drop in profits as caused by a $134 million “one-time charge for financing-related fees as a result of the early repayment of our US$8 billion bank borrowings,” and also due to an increase in share-based compensation expense.