Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said fourth-quarter sales rose 39% after its core online shopping business grew, but profit fell for the first time as it spent on ventures like food delivery, according to Reuters. Net income excluding extraordinary items, Alibaba’s preferred measure for earnings, shrank 1.4% to RMB 7.6bn from the previous year, as the company continued to invest heavily in new but shakier businesses. Its online finance affiliate Ant Financial Services Group also recorded a net loss in the quarter. Ant, which houses the massive Alipay online payment platform, is now valued at US $60bn and is gearing up for an IPO.
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