Alibaba.com’s first-quarter net profit more than doubled year-on-year to US$43 million from US$20 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. Revenue increased 53% to US$97 million from US$64 million. The website, the listed unit of Alibaba Group, said revenue from its China Marketplace platform increased 81% to US$31 million from US$17 million a year ago. The platform helps connect buyers and sellers within China, and it contributed 32% of the firm’s total revenue, up five percentage points from a year ago. Its International Marketplace platform, which mainly helps Chinese exporters find overseas buyers, saw revenue increase 43% to US$66 million from US$46 million a year earlier. The platform accounted for most of the website’s business, making up 68% of total revenue. Chief executive David Wei said he was confident of posting satisfactory results this year, despite a downgrade of the stock’s rating to "sell" from "hold" by a Citigroup analyst who was concerned that a major sales force restructuring in the first quarter would lead to a revenue drop. Alibaba.com raised US$1.5 billion in an IPO last November. Its shares closed at HK$15.40 Tuesday, up slightly from a 6% single-day drop Monday.
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