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Amazon sees profits and sales surge

Do Not UseDo Not Use 28/04/2016
Amazon warehouse © Getty Images Amazon warehouse

Amazon has reported a profit of $513m (£351m) in its first quarter, helped by a 28% jump in sales.

Amazon warehouse © Getty Images Amazon warehouse

Sales hit $29.1bn for the three months to the end of March, helped by rising sales of its Kindle reading devices and Fire tablet computers.

Both sales and profits were higher than analysts had been expecting and Amazon shares jumped in after hours trading.

The company reported strong growth in customers for its Prime service, which includes free delivery and TV shows.

The results were a positive sign for investors who had been rattled by disappointing earnings from Apple and Microsoft.

"It did restore my faith," said Dan Conde, an analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group.

Cloud lifting

Amazon's cloud services unit was an important source of sales growth.

The cloud business rents data storage space and software services to companies, and is Amazon's fastest growing unit.

Revenue rose 64% year-over-year, reaching $2.5bn.

Investors have been watching Amazon's cloud operation closely, particularly after one of its biggest customers, Apple, announced it would be moving some of its business elsewhere.

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Prime options

Since the start of the year Amazon has added new televisions shows and films to its Prime service, which helped to attract new users.

In April, Amazon introduced options to pay monthly for the service.

The plan is part of an effort to compete with video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

The company also attributed the increased number of Prime members to the expanded list of products eligible for free two-day shipping.

Device sales

Amazon did not detail sales of devices like the Kindle and Fire table, but did say that the division has seen growth.

"Amazon devices are the top selling products on Amazon, and customers purchased more than twice as many Fire tablets than first quarter last year," chief executive Jeff Bezos said.

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