Alibaba: Profits up 26%, Reach $5.64 Billion

Alibaba the Chinese e-commerce giant ended the year with revenues up by 45% and profits up 26% at $5.64 billion.

The company also announced its fourth quarter results, for the three months January to March, delivering earnings per share of $0.48, which beat market average estimates by $0.06.

The company recently rattled markets by announcing a freeze on further hiring until further notice, but announced the appointment of Borje Ekholm, of Sweden’s Investor AB as a board member. It also announced the promotion of Daniel Zhang, currently Chief Operating Officer of Alibaba Group, to be the new CEO.

The company said that it continues to drive more of its business on to mobile platforms. In the full year gross merchant value recorded from mobile devices increased by 212% and accounted for 41% of the 2014-15 business. That was up from 19% the previous year.

Despite a string of small and medium acquisitions and investments the company had cash on its balance sheet of $19.7 billion, at the end of the year to March.

The company floated on the New York Stock Exchange in what is the largest IPO in history. Its shares closed Wednesday at $80 apiece, but in pre-market trading Thursday looked to be up by more than 7%.

The shares of Chinese companies have had a bumpy time in the past two months. They rose steeply on optimism that the Chinese government would introduce new stimulus measures designed to help combat a slowing economy. But more recently markets have been dogged by fears that the government will try to dampen stock market gains.

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