Chinese language ecommerce group Alibaba swung to its first quarterly loss since its US itemizing six years in the past as a document superb levied by Beijing authorities weighed on its earnings.

On Thursday, a month after it was hit with a $2.8bn penalty for allegedly abusing its market dominance, the corporate reported a web lack of Rmb5.5bn ($836m) on Rmb187bn in revenues for the quarter from January to March.

Revenues rose 64 per cent yr on yr, boosted by the acquisition of a grocery store chain final yr, and got here in forward of analyst expectations.

“Up to now fiscal yr we’ve gone by means of every kind of challenges, together with the Covid-19 pandemic, fierce competitors, in addition to an anti-monopoly investigation,” mentioned chief government Daniel Zhang.

Zhang mentioned the corporate had accepted the document antitrust penalty “with sincerity” and would guarantee future compliance “with dedication”. He added it had helped them mirror on their “social obligations and commitments”.

Alibaba’s US listed shares rose greater than 2 per cent in pre-market buying and selling.

China’s reigning ecommerce chief additionally outlined a big funding plan aimed toward competing with upstart rivals reminiscent of Pinduoduo, which overtook Alibaba in annual buyers on the finish of final yr, partly by providing them large reductions. Alibaba has additionally invested in taking over rival Meituan in meals supply.

“We are able to see so a lot of our rivals are operating enormous losses and investing enormous quantities . . . there is no such thing as a cause for us to not be investing,” mentioned chief monetary officer Maggie Wu. 

Alibaba mentioned it could make investments all of its incremental earnings over the following 12 months to construct out its know-how platform, help its retailers and entice new clients. It expects income to exceed Rmb930bn through the interval, up from Rmb717bn this previous yr. 

For the primary quarter, gross sales picked up at Alibaba’s primary ecommerce websites Taobao and Tmall, however progress in its cloud computing enterprise slowed to a 37 per cent year-on-year rise as a key buyer reduce utilization internationally. Alibaba didn’t disclose the client’s identify.

Cloud is a key revenue driver for international tech giants like Amazon and analysts had anticipated Alibaba to profit because the enterprise lastly turned worthwhile final yr.

In the meantime, Alibaba’s outcomes confirmed that its fintech arm, Ant Group, posted document earnings within the fourth quarter of final yr, the primary indication of the situation of its enterprise after Chinese language authorities cancelled its $37bn preliminary public providing in early November.

Ant earned an estimated Rmb21.8bn in revenue through the quarter, with its itemizing suspension coming halfway by means of the October to December interval. Alibaba books one-third of Ant’s revenue 1 / 4 late. 

The fourth-quarter revenue equalled Ant’s reported 2020 first-half revenue and was a rise on the estimated Rmb14.5bn it earned within the third quarter.

Nonetheless, the revenue got here earlier than Chinese language authorities pressured a wide-ranging restructuring of the corporate that can shrink its enterprise this yr.