Alibaba revenue soars ahead of IPO

China's Alibaba Group, which is expected to go public in New York as early as next month, reported a 46 percent jump in quarterly revenue as growth in the world's largest e-commerce market showed no signs of slowing.

Alibaba accounts for about 80 percent of all online retail sales in China, where rising internet usage and an expanding middle-class helped the company generate gross merchandise volume of $296 billion (R3.1 trillion) in the 12 months ended June 30.

People walk at the headquarters of Alibaba in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, April 23, 2014. Credit: Reuters

The company had 279 million active buyers at the end of June, up 50 percent from a year earlier.

Revenue from Alibaba's China commerce business increased about 46 percent to $2.15 billion, accounting for most of the total revenue of $2.54 billion in the first quarter ended June.

Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders nearly tripled to $1.99 billion, or 84 cents per share.

The company said Chairman Jack Ma owned 8.8 percent of the company's ordinary shares and Japan's Softbank 34.1 percent at the end of the quarter.

Yahoo owns almost a quarter of the company.

Alibaba's initial public offering, which could top $16 billion to become the largest-ever technology IPO, is expected after the company starts an investor roadshow next week.

Analysts say the company may be worth $200 billion or more when it goes public, which would make it one of the top 20 companies listed in the United States. - Reuters