The online retailer has spent nearly $300 million acquiring three shipping software vendors over the past nine months.
The operator of two big online marketplaces also reported its profits increased 282% last year. Alibaba plans to go public in the United States this year.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., already the world’s biggest e-commerce company by online sales, just keeps growing.
Alibaba’s 2013 revenue increased 62.2% to $7.95 billion in 2013 from $4.90 billion a year earlier, and its profits grew 282% to $3.56 billion from $932 million in 2012, according to data released yesterday by Yahoo Inc. as part of its earnings release. Yahoo reports Alibaba financial results because it owns 24% of the Chinese e-commerce company.
For the fourth quarter of 2013, Alibaba’s revenue increased 66.3%, to $3.06 billion from $1.84 billion in 2012. Q4 profits jumped 110%, to $1.36 billion from $650 million in the same period a year ago, Yahoo reported.
“Alibaba once again showed impressive growth,” Yahoo chief financial officer Ken Goldman told financial analysts yesterday on a conference call.
Alibaba declined to comment on the data, noting that the company is in a quiet period in advance of its planned initial public offering of stock. Alibaba has announced it plans an IPO in the United States in the next several months. Analysts have projected the stock market could value Alibaba at between $100 billion and $150 billion.
Alibaba didn’t reports its total transactions for 2013 yet, but an index the e-commerce operator released shows that, in most months in 2013, the total transaction volume of Alibaba’s two business-to-consumer e-commerce sites, Taobao.com and Tmall.com, increased by around 50% year over year. Internet Retailer’s newly released China 500, which ranks China’s leading e-retailers by their annual web sales, estimates that consumers purchased $245 billion worth of goods and services on Alibaba’s marketplaces in 2013, 50% more than in 2012.
By comparison, eBay Inc. reported $76.5 billion in purchases on its global marketplaces in 2013; Amazon does not report gross merchandise value, but Internet Retailer estimates Amazon and other merchants that sell on Amazon sites generated sales of about $100 billion in 2013. That would make Alibaba’s sales on its Taobao and Tmall marketplaces nearly 40% more than the gross merchandise value of Amazon and eBay combined. In addition, Alibaba operates a business-to-business marketplace, Alibaba.com, that enables retailers and other companies to sources goods online from factories in China and other countries.
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