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JD.com, China’s largest online retailer by revenues, beat its own sales forecasts in the fourth quarter of 2016, helping it to shrink its full-year losses by almost two-thirds.

JD, which last year bought Walmart’s Chinese ecommerce arm in exchange for a minority stake in the company, said revenues in the final three months of 2016 were “well above” its predictions, up 47 per cent on the same quarter last year to Rmb80.3bn ($11.6bn).

Revenues for the full year increased 43 per cent, to Rmb260.2bn ($37.5bn). The company said its core business was growing “much more quickly” than the wider industry.

However, it predicted a slight slowdown in growth in the first quarter of this year, with revenues expected to climb by between 34 and 38 per cent.

Net losses for the year shrank by 63 per cent, to Rmb3.5bn.

Although its net revenues are higher, JD has a smaller share of volumes in China’s ecommerce market than Alibaba’s Tmall, and is less profitable than its larger rival.

JD said “we continue to make progress in driving a healthy balance between growth and profitability”. Adjusted gross profits, one of the company’s preferred performance measures, increased by 62 per cent to RMB23.8bn.

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