Chinese online merchandise-trading website Alibaba.com said fourth-quarter net profit fell 57% year-on-year, due in part to a large one-time gain a year earlier related to interest income from oversubscriptions to its initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company’s net profit for the three months ending December 31 came to US$29.2 million, down from US$68.1 million a year earlier. Alibaba said that if the one-time gain figure is excluded fourth-quarter profit rose 74%. Its paying membership also grew sharply during the quarter, the company claimed. Alibaba.com CEO David Wei said profit margins will fall this year as the company ramps up marketing and hires 2,000-3,000 people. Alibaba.com is the listed unit of Alibaba Group, which is 39%-owned by Yahoo.
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