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Alibaba's profit surges

ALIBABA.COM Limited, China's biggest commerce Website, said its net profit for last year surged 25 percent, thanks to rising numbers of paying members and growing value-added service sales.

The profit for 2008 reached 1.21 billion yuan (US$176 million), or HK$26.74 cents per share, up 25 percent from the previous year. Total revenue jumped 39 percent to 3 billion yuan.

The number of its international users surged 80 percent to 7.9 million, around 21 percent of its total number of registered users. Its total number of users soared 38 percent to above 38 million. By the end of last year the company's paying members climbed 41.4 percent from the beginning of 2008 to 432,031.

The Chinese market continued to enjoy robust growth and its contribution to the firm's total revenue rose from 28.4 percent in the previous year to 36.5 percent in 2008.

Alibaba views the current downturn as a prime opportunity to expand its market leadership. It said it would invest more in technology and new product applications.



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