March 1, 2016 / 11:14 AM / 2 years ago

JD.com's revenue growth beats expectations

An employee works at a JD.com logistic centre in Langfang, Hebei province, November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - JD.com, China’s second biggest e-commerce company behind Alibaba, has reported better than expected revenue growth in the last three months of 2015 as volume sales on its platforms jumped in the face of China’s economic slowdown.

“Despite the macro slowdown the consumption growth remains healthy,” said Sidney Huang, JD.com’s chief financial officer.

But consumption could be hit by a delayed effect from the slowing economy, said Huang. “We remain cautiously optimistic about our 2016 growth outlook.”

China’s economy has been growing at its slowest rate in a quarter of a century, causing worry that some of the country’s fastest-growing tech companies could see their performance take a hit. Those fears have been compounded by a plunge in Chinese stock markets, also taking its toll on firms with U.S. listings such as JD.com, whose shares are down 20 percent since the beginning of the year.

The company, Alibaba Group’s main rival in online shopping, said on Tuesday fourth-quarter revenue rose 57 percent to 54.6 billion yuan ($8.34 billion), ahead of the average market forecast of 51.794 billion yuan, according to a Thomson Reuters poll of 13 analysts.

JD.com shares were up about 4 percent in pre-market trading in New York.

However, JD.com’s net losses ballooned to 7.6 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) in the last quarter, more than 16 times as much as a year earlier, which it blamed on impairment charges on its Paipai.com business. Excluding one-off and extraordinary items net losses were 656.2 million yuan.

JD.com forecast revenue of 53-55 billion yuan in the first three months of 2016, a growth rate of 45-50 percent.

The company said it expects a net margin of between -0.5 percent and 0.5 percent for the year of 2016, excluding one-off and extraordinary items.

The total value of merchandise transactions on JD.com’s platforms was up 69 percent at 145.3 billion yuan ($22.19 billion) in the quarter.

($1 = 6.5484 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Editing by Greg Mahlich and David Evans

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