Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba posted a 54% increase in revenue for the third quarter of the financial year, bringing its total to $7.67B for the three months ending December 31, 2016.
It was a better-than-expected hike for Jack Ma’s company, which was driven largely by Single’s Day, China’s annual shopping event on November 11.
The company’s digital media and entertainment business in the quarter was up 273% to $585M year-on-year, driven largely by the consolidation of video website Youku Tudou and also an increase in revenue from mobile value-added services provided by UCWeb, such as mobile search, news feeds and game publishing. But this sector also was the biggest loss maker in the company: loses increased in the third-quarter to $463M (up from $156M in 2015).
Meanwhile, revenue from cloud computing increased 115% year-on-year to $254M while revenue from innovation initiatives was up 61% to $122M.
Net income for the company sat at $2.47B overall, or $1 per share, while income from operations was at $2.98B and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $3.892M. But according to a Thompson Reuters estimate, Wall Street expected Alibaba to report third-quarter earnings of around $1.13 per share.
Following the announcement, Alibaba shares were up 5.4% in pre-market trading on Tuesday.
Alibaba executive chairman Ma has made no secret of his ambitions to link up with Hollywood. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week, Ma said the company was keen to partner with U.S. entertainment companies. In December, the company said it planned to invest more than $7.2B into content across the next three years while in October Alibaba took a minority equity stake in Steven Speilberg’s Amblin Partners in a bid to co-produce films for global and Chinese audiences.
Last week in Davos, the company also announced that it had linked up with the International Olympic Committee to become IOC’s Worldwide Olympic partner until 2028, offering official cloud services and e-commerce platforms.
Ma was also one of the first foreign figures to meet with President Donald Trump before he was sworn into office. Last week, the duo met at Trump Tower in New York to discuss agriculture in the Midwest and an idea to create 1M new small-business jobs in the next ten years.