Alibaba Group’s digital entertainment arm Alibaba Pictures turned a profit for the year ended March 31, a Hong Kong stock exchange filing showed on Wednesday.
The company reported a net profit of RMB154 million ($23 million) for the year and RMB3.65 billion in revenue on the back of astute content investments.
Alibaba Pictures produced and distributed 44 films in the 12 months ending March 31, including The Battle at Lake Changjin, a Korean War epic that became the second highest-grossing movie in the world last year.
“Despite tremendous uncertainties, the group has firmly and continuously executed its dual-drive strategy featuring ‘content + technology’, and transformed adversity into opportunity,” Alibaba Pictures CEO and Chairman Fan Luyuan said in the release.
This strategy continues to deliver: Water Gate Bridge, a sequel to The Battle at Lake Changjin that debuted in February, has become the highest-grossing box office film of 2022 so far.
Be Reborn, a suspense show produced by Alibaba Pictures, became the most played drama series on digital platforms in China during May, shortly after it was launched in late April, according to Alibaba’s film analytics platform Dengta.
In the 12 months ending March 31, Alibaba Pictures turned an operating loss of RMB108 million for the previous fiscal year into an operating profit of RMB279 million.
Alibaba Pictures’ technology segment, including its platform ticketing and digitalization business, recorded a revenue increase of 12% year-on-year.
Its other major business line, intellectual property merchandising and commercialization, recorded a 43% increase in revenue, with operating profit growth of 22% year-on-year.
Leveraging the Alibaba ecosystem, Alibaba Pictures integrated IP licensing, marketing and e-commerce activities for brands and IP holders to reach Chinese consumers.
The number of IPs licensed by the company increased by 120% in the fiscal year, the filing showed, including the company’s own “KOITAKE” toy brand.