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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Alibaba profit nearly triples as revenues rise

Story originally appeared on BBC News.

Alibaba, China's biggest e-commerce group, has seen its profits nearly tripled, according to a regulatory filing by shareholder Yahoo.

Net profits for the three months through December rose to $642m (£415m) from $237m a year earlier. Revenues were more than 80% higher.

Privately-held Alibaba is widely expected to have a share sale as early as this year.

The company is the biggest player in China's fast-growing e-commerce market.

The company operates online platforms, Taobao and Tmall, which connect small sellers and major companies with consumers and business partners.

Alibaba's revenues come from advertisements on the websites and customer fees.

Yahoo has a 24% stake in Alibaba, after the e-commerce company bought back some of its shares last year. Included in the terms of that buyback were incentives for Alibaba to list its shares before the end of 2015.

Alibaba has not publicly announced the details or timeline of the share sale. However, industry observers expect it could be as early as this year.

The strong earnings are part of wider growth in China's ecommerce industry, which is set to surpass the US in the coming years.