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Pandemic sales help Amazon post biggest profit in history

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Riding on surging online sales during the pandemic as people stayed home, Amazon reported solid second quarter results, registering a 40 per cent increase in net sales to $88.9 billion, compared with $63.4 billion in the same period last year.

Net income increased to $5.2 billion in the second quarter, compared with net income of $2.6 billion in second quarter 2019, the company said in a statement.

Amazon shares rose 5 per cent in the after-hours trade.

“This was another highly unusual quarter, and I couldn’t be more proud of and grateful to our employees around the globe,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.

“As expected, we spent over $4 billion on incremental COVID-19-related costs in the quarter to help keep employees safe and deliver products to customers in this time of high demand,” he added.

Bezos said the company has created over 175,000 new jobs since March and are in the process of bringing 125,000 of these employees into regular, full-time positions.

“Third-party sales again grew faster this quarter than Amazon’s first-party sales. Even in this unpredictable time, we injected significant money into the economy this quarter, investing over $9 billion in capital projects, including fulfillment, transportation, and AWS,” Bezos informed.

The cloud computing arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) reported revenues of $10.81 billion for the quarter, up 29 per cent year over year,

“Customers are using AWS to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on families, communities, and businesses,” said the company.

For its third quarter, Amazon said it expects net sales to be between $87 billion and $93 billion, or to grow between 24 per cent and 33 per cent compared with third quarter 2019.

“Operating income is expected to be between $2.0 billion and $5.0 billion, compared with $3.2 billion in third quarter 2019. This guidance assumes more than $2.0 billion of costs related to COVID-19,” said the company.


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