Amazon’s profits surge

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, said on Thursday that fourth quarter sales jumped 42 per cent to $9.52bn from the year before, as online sales growth in general far outstripped physical stores during the holiday quarter.

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Without the benefit of foreign exchange shifts, its net sales would have increased by 37 per cent, with sales in North America increasing 36 per cent to $4.96bn, and international sales increasing 37 per cent, excluding the forex benefits.

Amazon’s net income increased 71 per cent to $384m, or $0.85 per diluted share.

Sales of general merchandise again outstripped growth in the books and media that launched Amazon’s online business, growing 54 per cent excluding forex, compared with a 23 per cent rise in worldwide media sales, to $4.68bn.

The company said its acquisition of Zappos.com, the online shoe business on November 1, contributed approximately $200m to its fourth quarter revenue.

Amazon also announced a new stock buyback programme, saying that its board had authorised the repurchase of up to $2bn of the company’s common stock.

For the current quarter, Amazon forecast net sales of between $6.45bn and $7bn, representing growth in the range of 32 to 43 per cent against the first quarter last year.

It said operating income could be between $275m and $365m, growing by 13 to 50 per cent.

Image: Amazon logo
Source: Financial Times

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