Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has reported results for its 2020 financial year running to end-March, saying that general merchandise value (GMV) sales on its platforms surpassed USD1 trillion for the first time, including USD945 billion from its China retail marketplaces. Revenue increased by 35% year-on-year to USD72.0 billion, while adjusted EBITDA was up 29% to USD22.3 billion. During the March quarter most affected by COVID-19, sales on Tmall increased 10% year-on-year, driven by fast-moving consumer goods and resilient demand for consumer electronics.
Alibaba continued to attract new consumers, as the group ended the year with a total annual active consumer base of 960 million, including 726 million customers on the China retail marketplaces, up 11.0% year-on-year. Although the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted on Alibaba’s core ecommerce business from late January in the wake of disruption to global supply chains and workforce availability, the group reported a steady recovery beginning March and expects revenue to expand by 27.5% in fiscal 2021.
As the group continues to attract new shoppers and drive support measures to its trader base, CPGs not already doing so should allocate resources to exploring Alibaba as a resilient and fast-growing route to market in a Chinese economy that is moving ahead of the US and Europe in terms of economic recovery. Brands should also monitor closely technological developments around logistics, picking and delivery that are likely to shape future ecommerce in the US and Europe as retailers are racing to accelerate fulfilment.
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