• Alibaba’s full-year profits soared 193%
  • Total sales increased 33%
  • Fourth quarter sales up 29%

Alibaba’s full-year profits nearly tripled as the etailer delivered a strong fourth quarter driven by rocketing mobile sales.

The Chinese etail giant has reported a 193% increase in its profits to 71.28bn yuan (£7.5bn) for the year to March 31.

Total sales rose a third to 101.1bn yuan (£10.7bn), driven by a 182% rise in mobile sales to 50.3bn yuan (£5.3bn) and accounting for nearly half of the online retailer’s overall sales.

Chief executive Daniel Zhang said: “Alibaba Group finished the fiscal year on a very strong note.

“Our focus on long-term strategic priorities – globalisation, rural expansion, building a world-class cloud computing business and creating a comprehensive media and entertainment platform – has laid a strong foundation for future growth.”

Alibaba hired Amee Chande, who has previously worked for retailers including Walmart, Tesco and Staples, to head up its UK operation last September, which is positioning itself as the gateway to China for big UK retailers.

Its UK retail partners include Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and New Look.

The etail powerhouse delivered particularly strong growth in its fourth quarter, with total sales climbing 39% to £24.1bn yuan (£2.5bn) and mobile revenue up 149% to 13bn yuan (£1.3bn).

Chief financial officer Maggie Wu said this rise in sales “was the highest revenue growth of the past four quarters” and demonstrated “the resiliency and growing clout of Chinese consumers”.

Conlumino chief executive Neil Saunders said: “As successful as Alibaba is in China, it has found international more challenging.

“However, the group is now taking a more selective approach to expansion, focusing on embryonic or underdeveloped ecommerce markets where its expertise can drive growth.

“Despite its dominance in China, growth prospects remain good – especially as it grows its content and entertainment business, and expands into services like cloud computing.”