Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba saw revenues surge by a better-than-expected 61% in the January-to-March quarter. Revenues hit 61.9bn yuan ($9.7bn; £7.2bn), boosted by steady sales in its core businesses. The first three months of the year are usually slow for Alibaba, coming after the boost from Singles Day in November. Alibaba is one of the world’s most valuable companies, and its shares nearly doubled in value last year.
The company, which listed in New York in 2014 in what was then the world’s biggest initial public offering of shares, has reported income growth of more than 50% for each quarter for the past two years. However, the internet giant’s operating margin has been squeezed over the past year, falling from 25% to 15%.
One threat is from rival retailer JD.com. This period is the first since Alibaba bought a 30% stake in payment business, Ant Financial. That company is gearing up to issue shares to investors and is currently investing in a bid to keep ahead of the competition.