Alibaba profit up 132% in 'outstanding' quarter

Alibaba is opening an AI research centre in Singapore (AFP Photo/aaron tam) (AFP/File)

Shanghai (AFP) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said on Thursday that its net profit soared 132 percent in an "outstanding" latest quarter, prompting it to raise its projection for full-year revenue growth.

Net profit for the three months ending September 30 reached 17.67 billion yuan, ($2.67 billion), up from 7.62 billion yuan in the same period of 2016, the company said.

"We had an outstanding quarter," Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu said in a statement.

"This quarter we delivered excellent results, with overall revenue growth of 61 percent demonstrating the robust momentum in our core commerce business and across the Alibaba economy."

Revenues in the second quarter of Alibaba's fiscal year came it at 55.1 billion yuan, topping an analyst estimate of 52 billion yuan compiled by Bloomberg News.

The company was now raising its growth forecast for revenues in the full fiscal year to 49-53 percent, compared to a previous expectation of 45-49 percent growth.

Alibaba, which has made billionaire founder Jack Ma one of China's richest men and a global e-commerce icon, has been on a tear, regularly beating revenue estimates and watching as investors have driven its New York-listed shares up 110 percent since the start of the year.

Investor optimism for the future has been a key ingredient in the rally, with Alibaba raising expectations as it continues to adapt to, and profit from, the Chinese e-commerce boom that it helped to ignite.

Future dividends are expected from heavy investments in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, financial systems, logistics, the use of data to home in on consumer habits, and Ma's vision of using e-commerce to revitalise traditional retail.