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Alibaba's Amazon adventure

SEATTLE/HANGZHOU: January 28, 2016. Amazon.com has reported 2015 fourth quarter net income of US$482 million after a 22 percent year-on-year increase in net sales to US$35.7 billion.

For the full year, net sales increased 20 percent to US$107.0 billion from US$89.0 billion in 2014. Net income was US$596 million, compared with net loss of US$241 million in 2014.

Amazon expects a net sales growth of 17 to 28 percent or US$26.5 billion to US$29.0 billion for the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year, with operating income ranging from US$100 million to US$700 million compared to US$255 million in the first quarter 2015.

Amazon Fire HD“Twenty years ago, I was driving the packages to the post office myself and hoping we might one day afford a forklift. This year, we pass US$100 billion in annual sales and serve 300 million customers,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “And still, measured by the dynamism we see everywhere in the marketplace and by the ever-expanding opportunities we see to invent on behalf of customers, it feels every bit like Day 1,” he added.

By comparison, the Alibaba Group reported a 108 percent rise in fourth quarter net income to US$1.9 billion on sales of US$5.3 billion, an increase of 32 percent year-over-year. Sales from its China retail marketplace rose 35 percent in the same comparative period to US$4.4 billion while international sales rose 17 percent to US$318 million.

Alibaba noted the quarter’s net income benefited from the sale of its movie-related businesses to Alibaba Pictures.

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group CEO commented: “We remain focused on our top strategic priorities, including global imports, rural expansion, increasing our footprint in first-tier Chinese cities and building a world-class cloud computing business.” CFO Maggie Wu added: “We had excellent results this quarter. We achieved impressive revenue growth as we are increasingly monetizing the user activity on our marketplaces, particularly on mobile devices. Meanwhile, we generated strong free cash flow of US$3.7 billion this quarter.”

Alibaba said its logistics information systems affiliate Cainiao is enabling same-day delivery in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Wuhan, and next day delivery in 88 cities, up from 41 in the previous quarter. During the quarter its last-mile delivery partners YTO Express and Best Logistics launched a guaranteed delivery time to customers enabled by Cainiao’s integrated data flow.

In December last year, Alibaba Group announced it was acquiring the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post for an undisclosed sum declaring: “China's rise as an economic power and its importance to world stability is too important for there to be a singular thesis.”

The move follows the purchase of the Washington Post by Jeff Bezos in 2013 for US$250 million: “The Post has the good fortune of being the newspaper of the capital city of the United States of America,” he said. “That’s a great starting point to being a national and even global publication.”

 

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