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February 13, 2020

Alibaba Group Announces December Quarter 2019 Results

Hangzhou, China, February 13, 2020 – Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA and HKEX: 9988, “Alibaba” or “Alibaba Group”) today announced its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

“Alibaba Group experienced robust growth across our business this past quarter,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “Our digital economy reached new heights with another record 11.11 Global Shopping Festival for our merchants and partners. Continued investment in user engagement, especially through social commerce content, contributed to our strong gains in annual active consumers. As a result of its rapid growth, our cloud computing services for the first time generated revenue of over RMB10 billion in a single quarter. In response to the coronavirus, we mobilized Alibaba ecosystem’s powerful forces of commerce and technology to fully support the fight against the outbreak, ensure supply of daily necessities for our communities and introduced practical relief measures for our merchants. No matter past, present or future, we remain true to our mission and we will support our merchants to overcome this challenging time together.”

“We had a successful listing on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in November and delivered strong results for the quarter, with top-line revenue growth of 38% year-over-year and adjusted EBITDA growth of 37% year-over-year,” said Maggie Wu, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group. “Looking forward, we will remain dedicated to investing in digital infrastructure and services, supporting our customers and partners across the Alibaba Digital Economy, especially during the challenging time.”

BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS

In the quarter ended December 31, 2019:

  • Revenue was RMB161,456 million (US$23,192 million), an increase of 38% year-over-year.
  • Annual active consumers on our China retail marketplaces reached 711 million, an increase of 18 million from the 12-month period ended September 30, 2019.
  • Mobile MAUs on our China retail marketplaces reached 824 million in December 2019, an increase of 39 million over September 2019.
  • Income from operations was RMB39,560 million (US$5,682 million), an increase of 48% year-over-year. Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measurement, increased 37% year-over-year to RMB55,880 million (US$8,027 million).
  • Adjusted EBITA for core commerce was RMB58,075 million (US$8,342 million), an increase of 26% year-over-year. Our marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA, a non-GAAP measurement, increased 22% year-over-year to RMB66,371 million (US$9,534 million).
  • Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders was RMB52,309 million (US$7,514 million), and net income was RMB50,132 million (US$7,201 million). Non-GAAP net income was RMB46,493 million (US$6,678 million), an increase of 56% year-over-year.
  • Diluted earnings per ADS was RMB19.55 (US$2.81) and non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS was RMB18.19 (US$2.61), an increase of 49% year-over-year. Diluted earnings per share was RMB2.44 (US$0.35) and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share was RMB2.27 (US$0.33), an increase of 49% year-over-year.
  • Net cash provided by operating activities was RMB96,505 million (US$13,862 million) and non-GAAP free cash flow was RMB78,279 million (US$11,244 million).

Reconciliations of GAAP measures to non-GAAP measures presented above are included at the end of this results announcement.

BUSINESS AND STRATEGIC UPDATES

Core Commerce

We achieved strong results reflecting our strategic focus on user acquisition and engagement as well as on enhancing product variety and increasing our offerings of price-competitive products. In December 2019, our China retail marketplaces had 824 million mobile MAUs, representing a net increase of 39 million from September 2019. Annual active consumers on our China retail marketplaces reached 711 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2019, an increase of 18 million compared to 693 million for the 12 months ended September 30, 2019. Over 60% of new annual active consumers were from less developed areas.

Taobao – fast growing and dynamic consumer community. Taobao continues to improve in content innovation and personalized recommendations to serve existing consumers and attract new ones. “Taobao Live,” where merchants and key opinion leaders (“KOLs”) use live-broadcast to market to their fans and customers, has become one of the fastest growing and an effective selling formats on our China retail marketplaces. In December 2019, GMV generated from Taobao Live and the number of monthly active users who watched Taobao Live both grew over 100% year-over-year.

Tmall – 11.11 Global Shopping Festival adds to robust GMV growth on China’s leading consumer and engagement platform. Tmall continues to expand its leadership position as the consumer engagement and distribution platform of choice for brands in China. Tmall online physical goods GMV, excluding unpaid orders, grew 24% year-over-year in the quarter ended December 31, 2019, with strong growth in fast-moving consumer goods (“FMCG”) and consumer electronics. Our consumer segmentation initiatives have been well received by users as we continued to see strong order growth and higher purchase frequency.

Our annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in the quarter was another record-breaking event, generating RMB268.4 billion (US$38.4 billion) in GMV settled through Alipay on our retail marketplaces and consumer services platforms, up 26% year-over-year. During this year’s festival, we continued to drive consumer value by offering savings and wider product assortment from high quality merchants. We also enabled more brands to generate greater GMV and increase their penetration into less developed areas. Over 200,000 brands, including 22,000 international brands, participated in this year’s event, among which 15 brands each generated GMV of over RMB1 billion (US$143.0 million) and 299 brands each generated GMV of over RMB100 million (US$14.3 million). Consumer demand from less developed areas remained robust, accounting for 54% of the GMV during the festival.

New Retail – developing new business models to enable the digital transformation of brick-and-mortar retailing.

Creating the New – Our self-operated grocery retail chain Freshippo (known as “Hema” in Chinese) continues to achieve solid same-store sales growth. Freshippo has been implementing multi-format retail strategies and introducing new initiatives to improve user experience and customer loyalty. As of December 31, 2019, we had 197 self-operated Freshippo stores in China, primarily located in tier 1 and tier 2 cities. We will continue to invest in the growth of this business by, among other things, increasing Freshippo’s store density in existing cities in order to improve consumer coverage and delivery efficiency.

Transforming the Old – In September 2019, Tmall Supermarket launched a store-to-door business with Sun Art Retail Group to make half-day delivery of food and daily necessity products to consumers living beyond the catchment area of Sun Art’s stores. The service marries Sun Art’s store-based inventories with Alibaba’s logistics infrastructure powered by Cainiao Network to better serve consumers that live within a 3-to-20 kilometer delivery radius of Sun Art’s stores.

Local consumer services – delivering strong growth in less developed areas by leveraging assets in the Alibaba Digital Economy. During the quarter, we continued to achieve strong growth in GMV driven by robust order growth. We continued to penetrate into less developed areas with strong growth potential and synergies with other businesses in the Alibaba Digital Economy. During the quarter, GMV from less developed areas grew about 40% year-over-year.

We are leveraging our relationship with Ant Financial and other assets in the Alibaba Digital Economy to further benefit our local consumer services business. In the quarter ended December 31, 2019, Ele.me acquired 48% of its new customers from the Alipay app.

Cainiao Network – increasing merchant adoption of cross-border logistics and fulfillment solutions. Cainiao Network continues to focus on improving domestic and international one-stop-shop logistics services and supply chain management solutions to serve the Alibaba Digital Economy’s consumers and merchants. During the quarter, Cainiao Network’s revenue grew 67% year-over-year to RMB7,518 million (US$1,080 million). This revenue growth was primarily driven by increased merchant adoption of “Fulfilled by Cainiao” services from our fast growing cross-border businesses.

Cainiao Network and its logistics partners delivered a record 1.29 billion packages generated from this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. During this year’s festival, Cainiao Post enabled greater delivery efficiency with 362 million packages picked up at its stations around the country, up 88% year-over-year.

In November 2019, we made an additional investment of RMB23.3 billion (US$3.3 billion) to increase our equity stake in Cainiao Network from approximately 51% to approximately 63%, by subscribing for newly issued Cainiao Network ordinary shares in its latest financing round and purchasing ordinary shares from a third party. With more financial resources, Cainiao Network will be able to continue its investment in technologies and logistics infrastructure services to strengthen its smart logistics network.

International – strong growth in our global markets.

Lazada – Our Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada saw robust growth momentum in its marketplace business, driven by strong order volume growth and the doubling of quarterly active merchants year-over-year. Lazada recorded 97% year-over-year quarterly order growth reflecting strong consumer demand in the apparel and accessories and general merchandise categories. Lazada’s user engagement programs and promotional campaigns, including the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, drove strong mobile DAU growth during the quarter.

AliExpress – AliExpress continues to deliver robust user and GMV growth by leveraging our digital commerce technology and global logistics infrastructure. AliExpress continues to focus on increasing the number of high quality merchants that can offer price competitive products to meet the strong consumption demand of the marketplace’s international consumers. During the quarter, AliExpress saw robust merchant and consumer participation in the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which generated strong GMV growth of 46% year-over-year.

In October 2019, we completed the contribution of our AliExpress Russia businesses to a joint venture with Mail.ru Group, MegaFon and Russian Direct Investment Fund (“RDIF”). We hold less than a majority of the voting rights to comply with local regulations, and as a result we deconsolidated the AliExpress Russia businesses upon the completion of this transaction in this quarter.

Cloud Computing

Alibaba Cloud maintains its leadership position in China’s cloud computing market by developing technology and business solutions that enable the digital transformation of businesses across industries in the public and private sectors. During the quarter, Alibaba Cloud reached two important financial and technological milestones. First, our cloud computing business for the first time generated over RMB10 billion of revenue in a single quarter. Cloud computing revenue grew 62% year-over-year to RMB10,721 million (US$1,540 million), driven by increased revenue contributions from both our public cloud and hybrid cloud businesses.

Second, ahead of this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, Alibaba Cloud enabled the migration of the core systems of our e-commerce businesses onto our public cloud. During the festival, Alibaba Cloud provided a highly scalable, reliable and secure public cloud infrastructure that handled a single day GMV of RMB268.4 billion (US$38.4 billion). Its public cloud infrastructure and technologies enabled Alibaba Group to process over 544,000 orders per second at peak and 970 petabytes of data without disruption for the full 24 hour period during the festival. This year’s festival also showcased the strength of our leading cyber security technology in the public cloud environment, which is a key priority of many of our public sector and industry customers.

We believe the migration of the core systems of Alibaba’s e-commerce businesses onto the public cloud is a major milestone that not only is generating greater operating efficiencies for Alibaba but also will encourage more customers to adopt our public cloud infrastructure.

Digital Media and Entertainment

For the quarter, Youku’s average daily subscribers increased 59% year-over-year. The increase was primarily driven by Youku’s more effective targeting of new subscribers during key promotional campaigns, an increase of auto-renewal subscribers and a greater contribution from the 88VIP membership program on our China retail marketplaces. We continue to invest in original content production capabilities while seeking cost efficiencies and return on investment, resulting in narrowing adjusted EBITA losses year-over-year during the quarter.

Initial Public Offering in Hong Kong

On November 26, 2019, we successfully listed our ordinary shares on the main board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (“Hong Kong Stock Exchange”) with a global offering of 575,000,000 ordinary shares, comprised of an international offering and a Hong Kong public offering. The Hong Kong-listed shares are fully fungible with our American depositary shares (“ADSs”) listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) (one ADS representing eight ordinary shares). Our gross proceeds from the global offering, before deducting underwriting fees and the offering expenses, were approximately HK$101.2 billion (US$13.0 billion). We plan to use these proceeds for the further implementation of our strategies to drive user growth and engagement, empower businesses to facilitate digital transformation and improve operational efficiency, and continue to innovate.

Cash Flow from Operating Activities and Free Cash Flow

In the quarter ended December 31, 2019, net cash provided by operating activities was RMB96,505 million (US$13,862 million), an increase of 49% compared to RMB64,898 million in the same quarter of 2018. Free cash flow, a non-GAAP measurement of liquidity, in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 increased by 52% to RMB78,279 million (US$11,244 million), from RMB51,373 million in the same quarter of 2018, which was primarily due to our robust profitability growth as well as a decrease in capital expenditure spending and an increase in annual service fee deposits from merchants. A reconciliation of net cash provided by operating activities to free cash flow is included at the end of this results announcement.

KEY OPERATIONAL METRICS*

DECEMBER QUARTER SUMMARY FINANCIAL RESULTS

DECEMBER QUARTER INFORMATION BY SEGMENTS

The table below sets forth selected financial information of our operating segments for the periods indicated:

DECEMBER QUARTER OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL RESULTS

Revenue

Revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB161,456 million (US$23,192 million), an increase of 38% compared to RMB117,278 million in the same quarter of 2018. The increase was mainly driven by the robust revenue growth of our China commerce retail business and cloud computing.

The following table sets forth a breakdown of our revenue by segment for the periods indicated:

Core commerce

  • China commerce retail business

    Revenue – Revenue from our China commerce retail business in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB110,458 million (US$15,866 million), an increase of 36% compared to RMB81,055 million in the same quarter of 2018. Revenue from our China retail marketplaces continued to see strong growth. Combined customer management and commission revenues grew 21% year-over-year, reflecting an increase of 23% in customer management revenue and an increase of 16% in commission revenue. The growth of customer management revenue was primarily the result of an increase in the average unit price per click and an increase in the volume of paid clicks.

    The growth of commission revenue was primarily due to strong 24% year-over-year growth of Tmall online physical goods GMV (excluding unpaid orders). Commission revenue did not grow in proportion to the growth of Tmall online physical goods GMV (excluding unpaid orders) primarily because more merchants, particularly in those strategically important categories, received preferential commission rates, as well as the revenue mix shift within Tmall Supermarket from commission-based revenue towards direct sales, which is classified as “Others” revenue under China commerce retail business.

    “Others” revenue under China commerce retail business was RMB25,814 million (US$3,708 million), a significant increase compared to RMB11,298 million in the same quarter of 2018, primarily driven by contributions from direct sales businesses, including Tmall Supermarket and Freshippo, as well as our consolidation of Kaola starting in September 2019.


  • China commerce wholesale business

    Revenue from our China commerce wholesale business in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB3,365 million (US$483 million), an increase of 25% compared to RMB2,694 million in the same quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to an increase in revenue from customer management and other value-added services on 1688.com, our domestic wholesale marketplace, as well as an increase in revenue from Lingshoutong, a digital sourcing platform that connects FMCG brand manufacturers and their distributors directly to local mom-and-pop stores in China.


  • International commerce retail business

    Revenue from our international commerce retail business in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB7,396 million (US$1,062 million), an increase of 27% compared to RMB5,834 million in the same quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to the growth in revenue generated by Lazada, which was partially offset by the exclusion of revenue from the AliExpress Russia businesses, which we deconsolidated upon the formation of a Russian joint venture in October 2019.


  • International commerce wholesale business

    Revenue from our international commerce wholesale business in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB2,457 million (US$353 million), an increase of 13% compared to RMB2,175 million in the same quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to an increase in the number of paying members on Alibaba.com, our global wholesale marketplace.


  • Cainiao logistics services

    Revenue from Cainiao Network’s logistics services, which represents revenue from its domestic and international one-stop-shop logistics services and supply chain management solutions, after elimination of inter-company transactions, was RMB7,518 million (US$1,080 million) in the quarter ended December 31, 2019, an increase of 67% compared to RMB4,491 million in the same quarter of 2018, primarily due to the increase in the volume of orders fulfilled from our fast growing cross-border businesses.


  • Local consumer services

    Revenue from local consumer services, which primarily represents platform commissions, fees from provision of delivery services and other services provided by our on-demand delivery and local services platform Ele.me, was RMB7,584 million (US$1,089 million) in the quarter ended December 31, 2019, an increase of 47% compared to RMB5,159 million in the same quarter of 2018, primarily due to the increase in the volume of orders delivered.

Cloud computing

Revenue from our cloud computing business in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB10,721 million (US$1,540 million), an increase of 62% compared to RMB6,611 million in the same quarter of 2018, primarily driven by increased revenue contributions from both our public cloud and hybrid cloud businesses.

Digital media and entertainment

Revenue from our digital media and entertainment business in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB7,396 million (US$1,062 million), an increase of 14% compared to RMB6,491 million in the same quarter of 2018. The increase was mainly due to our consolidation of Alibaba Pictures starting in March 2019.

Innovation initiatives and others

Revenue from innovation initiatives and others in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB1,864 million (US$268 million), an increase of 40% compared to RMB1,333 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Costs and Expenses

The following tables set forth a breakdown of our costs and expenses, share-based compensation expense and costs and expenses excluding share-based compensation expense by function for the periods indicated.

Cost of revenue – Cost of revenue in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB84,332 million (US$12,114 million), or 52% of revenue, compared to RMB60,813 million, or 52% of revenue, in the same quarter of 2018. Without the effect of share-based compensation expense, cost of revenue as a percentage of revenue would have increased from 50% in the quarter ended December 31, 2018 to 51% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019. The increase was primarily due to an increase in revenue mix shift towards direct sales businesses such as Tmall Supermarket and New Retail, which resulted in increased cost of inventory, as well as our consolidation of Kaola, partly offset by a decrease in content cost by Youku and efficiency gains from our technology and infrastructure.

Product development expenses – Product development expenses in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 were RMB11,077 million (US$1,591 million), or 7% of revenue, compared to RMB8,901 million, or 8% of revenue, in the same quarter of 2018. Without the effect of share-based compensation expense, product development expenses as a percentage of revenue would have remained stable at 5% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 compared to the same quarter of 2018.

Sales and marketing expenses – Sales and marketing expenses in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 were RMB15,800 million (US$2,270 million), or 9% of revenue, compared to RMB12,104 million, or 10% of revenue, in the same quarter of 2018. Without the effect of share-based compensation expense, sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of revenue would have decreased from 10% in the quarter ended December 31, 2018 to 9% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

General and administrative expenses – General and administrative expenses in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 were RMB7,415 million (US$1,065 million), or 5% of revenue, compared to RMB5,853 million, or 5% of revenue, in the same quarter of 2018. Without the effect of share-based compensation expense, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue would also have remained stable at 4% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 compared to the same quarter of 2018.

Share-based compensation expense – Total share-based compensation expense included in the cost and expense items above in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB7,830 million (US$1,125 million), an increase of 13% compared to RMB6,960 million in the same quarter of 2018. Share-based compensation expense as a percentage of revenue decreased to 4% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019, as compared to 6% in the same quarter of 2018.

The following table sets forth our analysis of share-based compensation expense for the quarters indicated by type of share-based awards:

Share-based compensation expense related to Alibaba Group share-based awards granted to our employees remained stable in this quarter compared to the previous quarter. We expect that our share-based compensation expense will continue to be affected by changes in the fair value of our shares, our subsidiaries’ share-based awards and the quantity of awards that we grant in the future. Furthermore, we expect that our share-based compensation expense will continue to be affected by future changes in the valuation of Ant Financial, although any such changes will be non-cash and will not result in any economic cost or equity dilution to our shareholders.

Amortization of intangible assets – Amortization of intangible assets in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB3,272 million (US$470 million), an increase of 16% from RMB2,809 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Income from operations and operating margin

Income from operations in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB39,560 million (US$5,682 million), or 25% of revenue, an increase of 48% compared to RMB26,798 million, or 23% of revenue, in the same quarter of 2018.

Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITA

Adjusted EBITDA increased 37% year-over-year to RMB55,880 million (US$8,027 million) in the quarter ended December 31, 2019, compared to RMB40,708 million in the same quarter of 2018. Adjusted EBITA increased 39% year-over-year to RMB50,662 million (US$7,277 million) in the quarter ended December 31, 2019, compared to RMB36,567 million in the same quarter of 2018. A reconciliation of net income to adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITA is included at the end of this results announcement.

Adjusted EBITA and adjusted EBITA margin by segments

Adjusted EBITA and adjusted EBITA margin by segments are set forth in the table below. See the section entitled “Information about Segments” above for a reconciliation of income from operations to adjusted EBITA.

Core commerce segment – Adjusted EBITA increased by 26% to RMB58,075 million (US$8,342 million) in the quarter ended December 31, 2019, compared to RMB46,079 million in the same quarter of 2018, primarily due to an increase in marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA to RMB66,371 million (US$9,534 million), as well as our reduced loss in strategic businesses, partly offset by the effects of our consolidation of Kaola, which was also one of the factors that led to adjusted EBITA margin decreasing from 45% in the quarter ended December 31, 2018 to 41% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019. The continuing revenue mix shift towards self-operated New Retail and direct sales businesses, where revenue is recorded on a gross basis, including the cost of inventory, also contributed to the decrease in adjusted EBITA margin.

A reconciliation of adjusted EBITA for core commerce to marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA is included at the end of this results announcement.

We expect that our core commerce adjusted EBITA margin will continue to be affected by the pace of our investment in new businesses and by a continuing revenue mix shift to self-operated New Retail and direct sales businesses.

Cloud computing segment – Adjusted EBITA in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was a loss of RMB356 million (US$51 million), compared to a loss of RMB274 million in the same quarter of 2018. Adjusted EBITA margin improved to negative 3% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 from negative 4% in the quarter ended December 31, 2018.

Digital media and entertainment segment – Adjusted EBITA in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was a loss of RMB3,298 million (US$474 million), compared to a loss of RMB6,034 million in the same quarter of 2018. Adjusted EBITA margin improved to negative 45% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 from negative 93% in the quarter ended December 31, 2018, primarily due to reduced content cost by Youku as a result of our more disciplined content spending policy.

Innovation initiatives and others segment – Adjusted EBITA in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was a loss of RMB1,870 million (US$269 million), compared to a loss of RMB1,596 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Interest and investment income, net

Interest and investment income, net in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB17,136 million (US$2,462 million), compared to RMB11,560 million in the same quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to net gains arising from changes in the fair value of our equity investments in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 compared to net losses recorded in the same quarter of 2018, a one-time gain of RMB10.3 billion (US$1.5 billion) in relation to our contribution of the AliExpress Russia businesses into a joint venture we set up with Russian partners, which resulted in our deconsolidation of these businesses in this quarter, and a one-time non-cash gain in the same quarter of 2018 arising from the revaluation of our previously held equity interest in Koubei when we obtained control in December 2018.

In relation to the 33% equity interest in Ant Financial that we received in September 2019, we recognized in this quarter an upward adjustment of RMB2.3 billion (US$330 million) to the amount of the one-time gain we recognized in the previous quarter. This amount primarily represents adjustment of the fair value of our share of Ant Financial's net assets as of the completion date of the transaction.

The above-mentioned gains and losses are excluded from our non-GAAP net income.

Other income, net

Other income, net in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB987 million (US$142 million), compared to RMB387 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Income tax expenses

Income tax expenses in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 were RMB8,407 million (US$1,208 million), compared to RMB5,586 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Our effective tax rate remained stable at 15% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 compared to the same quarter of 2018. Excluding share-based compensation expense, revaluation and disposal gains/losses of investments and impairment of investments, our effective tax rate would have been 19% in the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

Share of results of equity investees

Share of results of equity investees in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was a profit of RMB2,165 million (US$311 million), compared to a loss of RMB861 million in the same quarter of 2018. We record our share of results of equity investees one quarter in arrears. Share of results of equity investees in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 and the comparative periods consisted of the following:

The share of profit of other equity investees in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 mainly include our share of profit in Suning, which primarily reflected a significant gain arising from Suning’s deconsolidation of one of its subsidiaries.

Net income and Non-GAAP net income

Our net income in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB50,132 million (US$7,201 million), an increase of 62% compared to RMB30,964 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Excluding share-based compensation expense, revaluation and disposal gains/losses of investments, impairment of investments and certain other items, non-GAAP net income in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB46,493 million (US$6,678 million), an increase of 56% compared to RMB29,797 million in the same quarter of 2018. A reconciliation of net income to non-GAAP net income is included at the end of this results announcement.

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB52,309 million (US$7,514 million), an increase of 58% compared to RMB33,052 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Diluted earnings per ADS/share and non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS/share

Diluted earnings per ADS in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB19.55 (US$2.81) on a weighted average of 21,393 million diluted shares outstanding during the quarter, an increase of 55% compared to RMB12.64 on a weighted average of 20,913 million diluted shares outstanding during the same quarter in 2018 (giving effect, in each case, to our share split in July 2019). Excluding share-based compensation expense, revaluation and disposal gains/losses of investments, impairment of investments and certain other items, non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB18.19 (US$2.61), an increase of 49% compared to RMB12.19 in the same quarter of 2018.

Diluted earnings per share in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB2.44 (US$0.35), an increase of 54% compared to RMB1.58 in the same quarter of 2018. Excluding share-based compensation expense, revaluation and disposal gains/losses of investments, impairment of investments and certain other items, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB2.27 (US$0.33), an increase of 49%, compared to RMB1.52 in the same quarter of 2018.

A reconciliation of diluted earnings per ADS/share to non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS/share is included at the end of this results announcement. Each ADS represents eight ordinary shares. See the section entitled “Share Subdivision and ADS Ratio Change” for more information.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments

As of December 31, 2019, cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were RMB351,946 million (US$50,554 million), compared to RMB235,251 million as of September 30, 2019. The increase in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments during the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was primarily due to net proceeds of RMB90,610 million (US$13,015 million) from the issuance of shares in connection with our global offering and free cash flow generated from operations of RMB78,279 million (US$11,244 million), partly offset by net cash used in investment and acquisition activities of RMB20,590 million (US$2,957 million), repayment of unsecured senior notes of US$2,250 million and cash used to acquire additional shares of Cainiao Network from a third party.

Cash flow from operating activities and free cash flow

Net cash provided by operating activities in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was RMB96,505 million (US$13,862 million), an increase of 49% compared to RMB64,898 million in the same quarter of 2018. Free cash flow, a non-GAAP measurement of liquidity, in the quarter ended December 31, 2019 increased by 52% to RMB78,279 million (US$11,244 million), from RMB51,373 million in the same quarter of 2018, which was primarily due to our robust profitability growth as well as a decrease in capital expenditure spending and an increase in annual service fee deposits from merchants. A reconciliation of net cash provided by operating activities to free cash flow is included at the end of this results announcement.

Net cash used in investing activities

During the quarter ended December 31, 2019, net cash used in investing activities of RMB32,588 million (US$4,681 million) primarily reflected (i) cash outflow of RMB22,482 million (US$3,229 million) for investment and acquisition activities, including the acquisition of Kaola and investment in Meinian Onehealth Healthcare, (ii) capital expenditures of RMB6,659 million (US$956 million), which included cash outflow for the acquisition of land use rights and construction in progress relating to office campuses of RMB910 million (US$131 million), as well as (iii) the acquisition of licensed copyrights and other intangible assets of RMB5,274 million (US$758 million). These cash outflows were partly offset by cash inflow of RMB1,892 million (US$272 million) from the disposal of various investments.

Employees

As of December 31, 2019, we had a total of 116,519 employees, compared to 111,524 as of September 30, 2019.

Share Subdivision and ADS Ratio Change

On July 30, 2019, we effected a 1-to-8 share subdivision, as a result of which each ordinary share was subdivided into eight ordinary shares (the “Share Subdivision”). At the same time, we changed our ordinary share-to-ADS ratio. Following the ADS ratio change, each ADS now represents eight ordinary shares. Because the ADS ratio change was exactly proportionate to the Share Subdivision, no new ADSs were issued to any ADS holder and the total number of our outstanding ADSs remains unchanged.

The tables below set forth the pre- and post-share subdivision earnings per share/ADS attributable to ordinary shareholders and weighted average number of shares used in calculating earnings per ordinary share for the periods indicated.

WEBCAST AND CONFERENCE CALL INFORMATION

Alibaba Group’s management will hold a conference call to discuss the financial results at 7:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time (8:30 p.m. Hong Kong Time) on February 13, 2020.

Details of the conference call are as follows:
International: +65 6713 5090
U.S.: +1 845 675 0437
U.K.: +44 203 621 4779
Hong Kong: +852 3018 6771
Conference ID: 9549246

A live webcast of the earnings conference call can be accessed at http://www.alibabagroup.com/en/ir/earnings. An archived webcast will be available through the same link following the call. A replay of the conference call will be available for one week (dial-in number: +61 2 8199 0299; conference ID: 9549246).

Our results announcement and accompanying slides are available at Alibaba Group’s Investor Relations website at http://www.alibabagroup.com/en/ir/home on February 13, 2020.

ABOUT ALIBABA GROUP

Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts for 102 years.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENTS

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “potential,” “continue,” “ongoing,” “targets,” “guidance” and similar statements. In addition, statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Alibaba’s strategies and business plans, Alibaba’s beliefs, expectations and guidance regarding the growth of its business and its revenue, the business outlook and quotations from management in this announcement, as well as Alibaba’s strategic and operational plans, are or contain forward-looking statements. Alibaba may also make forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), in announcements made on the website of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the “Hong Kong Stock Exchange”), in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: Alibaba’s expected revenue growth; Alibaba’s goals and strategies; Alibaba’s future business development; Alibaba’s ability to maintain the trusted status of its ecosystem, reputation and brand; risks associated with increased investments in Alibaba’s business and new business initiatives; risks associated with strategic acquisitions and investments; Alibaba’s ability to retain or increase engagement of consumers, merchants and other participants in its ecosystem and enable new offerings; Alibaba’s ability to maintain or grow its revenue or business; risks associated with limitation or restriction of services provided by Alipay; changes in laws, regulations and regulatory environment that affect Alibaba’s business operations; privacy and regulatory concerns; competition; security breaches; the continued growth of the e-commerce market in China and globally; risks associated with the performance of our business partners, including but not limited to Ant Financial; and fluctuations in general economic and business conditions in China and globally and assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Alibaba’s filings with the SEC and announcements on the website of The Hong Kong Stock Exchange. All information provided in this results announcement is as of the date of this results announcement and are based on assumptions that we believe to be reasonable as of this date, and Alibaba does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

To supplement our consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, we use the following non-GAAP financial measures: for our consolidated results, adjusted EBITDA (including adjusted EBITDA margin), adjusted EBITA (including adjusted EBITA margin), marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA, non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share/ADS and free cash flow. For more information on these non-GAAP financial measures, please refer to the section entitled “Information about Segments” and the table captioned “Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Measures to the Nearest Comparable GAAP Measures” in this results announcement.

We believe that adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITA, marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA, non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share/ADS help identify underlying trends in our business that could otherwise be distorted by the effect of certain income or expenses that we include in income from operations, net income and diluted earnings per share/ADS. We believe that these non-GAAP measures provide useful information about our core operating results, enhance the overall understanding of our past performance and future prospects and allow for greater visibility with respect to key metrics used by our management in its financial and operational decision-making. We present three different income measures, namely adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITA and non-GAAP net income, as well as one measure that provides supplemental information on our core commerce segment, namely marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA, in order to provide more information and greater transparency to investors about our operating results.

We consider free cash flow to be a liquidity measure that provides useful information to management and investors about the amount of cash generated by our business that can be used for strategic corporate transactions, including investing in our new business initiatives, making strategic investments and acquisitions and strengthening our balance sheet.

Adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITA, marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA, non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share/ADS and free cash flow should not be considered in isolation or construed as an alternative to income from operations, adjusted EBITA for core commerce, net income, diluted earnings per share/ADS, cash flows or any other measure of performance or as an indicator of our operating performance. These non-GAAP financial measures presented here do not have standardized meanings prescribed by U.S. GAAP and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies. Other companies may calculate similarly titled measures differently, limiting their usefulness as comparative measures to our data.

Adjusted EBITDA represents net income before (i) interest and investment income, net, interest expense, other income or loss, net, income tax expenses and share of results of equity investees, (ii) certain non-cash expenses, consisting of share-based compensation expense, amortization, depreciation, operating lease cost relating to land use rights and impairment of goodwill, which we do not believe are reflective of our core operating performance during the periods presented.

Adjusted EBITA represents net income before (i) interest and investment income, net, interest expense, other income or loss, net, income tax expenses and share of results of equity investees, (ii) certain non-cash expenses, consisting of share-based compensation expense, amortization and impairment of goodwill, which we do not believe are reflective of our core operating performance during the periods presented.

Marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA represents adjusted EBITA for core commerce excluding the effects of (i) local consumer services, (ii) New Retail and direct import, (iii) Lazada and (iv) Cainiao Network. Marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA reflects the performance of our most established businesses, namely, those of our China retail marketplaces and wholesale marketplaces which primarily adopt a marketplace-based approach. By excluding certain businesses that are in the earlier stages of their development and with business approaches that continue to evolve, marketplace-based core commerce adjusted EBITA enables investors to clearly evaluate the performance of our most established businesses on a like-for-like basis.

Non-GAAP net income represents net income before share-based compensation expense, amortization, impairment of investments and goodwill, gain or loss on deemed disposals/disposals/revaluation of investments, gain in relation to the receipt of the 33% equity interest in Ant Financial, amortization of excess value receivable arising from the restructuring of commercial arrangements with Ant Financial and others, as adjusted for the tax effects on non-GAAP adjustments.

Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share represents non-GAAP net income attributable to ordinary shareholders divided by the weighted average number of shares outstanding during the periods on a diluted basis. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS represents non-GAAP diluted earnings per share after adjustment to the ordinary share-to-ADS ratio.

Free cash flow represents net cash provided by operating activities as presented in our consolidated cash flow statement less purchases of property and equipment (excluding acquisition of land use rights and construction in progress relating to office campuses), licensed copyrights and other intangible assets, as well as adjustments to exclude from net cash provided by operating activities the consumer protection fund deposits from merchants on our China retail marketplaces. We deduct certain items of cash flows from investing activities in order to provide greater transparency into cash flow from our revenue-generating business operations. We exclude “acquisition of land use rights and construction in progress relating to office campuses” because the office campuses are used by us for corporate and administrative purposes and are not directly related to our revenue-generating business operations. We also exclude consumer protection fund deposits from merchants on our China retail marketplaces because these deposits are restricted for the purpose of compensating consumers for claims against merchants.

The section entitled “Information about Segments” and the table captioned “Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Measures to the Nearest Comparable GAAP Measures” in this results announcement have more details on the non-GAAP financial measures that are most directly comparable to GAAP financial measures and the related reconciliations between these financial measures.


ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED
UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENTS

ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED
REVENUE

The following table sets forth our revenue by segments for the periods indicated:

ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED
INFORMATION ABOUT SEGMENTS

The following table sets forth our income (loss) from operations by segments for the periods indicated:

The following table sets forth our adjusted EBITA by segments for the periods indicated:

The table below sets forth selected financial information of our operating segments for nine months ended December 31, 2019:

ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED
UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED
RECONCILIATIONS OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO THE NEAREST COMPARABLE GAAP MEASURES

The table below sets forth a reconciliation of our net income to adjusted EBITA and adjusted EBITDA for the periods indicated:

The table below sets forth a reconciliation of adjusted EBITA for core commerce to marketplacebased core commerce adjusted EBITA for the periods indicated:

The table below sets forth a reconciliation of our net income to non-GAAP net income for the periods indicated:

The table below sets forth a reconciliation of our diluted earnings per share/ADS to non-GAAP diluted earnings per share/ADS for the periods indicated:

The table below sets forth a reconciliation of net cash provided by operating activities to free cash flow for the periods indicated:

ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED
SELECTED OPERATING DATA

Annual active consumers

The table below sets forth the number of annual active consumers on our China retail marketplaces for the periods indicated:

Mobile

The table below sets forth the number of mobile MAUs on our China retail marketplaces for the periods indicated:

Contacts


Investor Relations Contact
Rob Lin
investor@alibabagroup.com


Media Contact
Brion Tingler
brion.tingler@alibaba-inc.com


Media Contact
Adam Najberg
adam.najberg@alibaba-inc.com