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Amazon Profit Soars 121% in First Quarter

Amazon continued to grow its external prowess with consumers and sellers in the first quarter, while enhancing internal systems and distribution capabilities.

In a Nutshell: The juggernaut continued in the first quarter of 2018, as income and sales soared and its position as the most dynamic retail organization was further solidified. For the third year in a row, customers voted Amazon No. 1 in corporate reputation in the Harris Poll, U.S. consumers ranked Amazon top in the American Customer Satisfaction Index for the Internet Retail category for the eighth year in a row and LinkedIn recognized Amazon as the most desirable workplace in the U.S., among its accolades.

Amazon Global Selling now allows small and medium-sized businesses to more easily connect with international customers. In 2017, global sellers’ sales grew by more than 50 percent worldwide. Amazon launched Fulfillment by Amazon in Australia, introduced additional locations in Europe for public fulfillment center tours in Spain, Italy and the U.K., joining over 25 other sites across North America and Europe.

The Amazon Sustainability Question Bank was launched in the quarter to help customers quickly find information on sustainability programs important to them, including renewable energy, sustainable packaging and improving efficiency across its operations. Amazon now has 15 fulfillment centers in the U.S. with solar panels producing power, as part of its commitment to host solar energy systems at 50 fulfillment centers by 2020 its goal to power its global infrastructure with 100 percent renewable energy.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced several enterprise customers during the quarter, including GoDaddy, Cox Automotive, Shutterfly and NextGen Healthcare, while Amway built an IoT platform on AWS using a serverless architecture.

Tens of thousands of customers are using AWS machine learning services, with active users increasing more than 250 percent in the last year.

Sales: Net sales for the first quarter ended March 31 increased 43 percent to $51 billion compared with $35.7 billion in year-ago period. Excluding a $1.6 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates in the quarter, net sales increased 39 percent compared with the first quarter of 2017.

Earnings: Net income in the quarter increased 121 percent to $1.6 billion from $724 million in the first three months of 2017. Operating income increased 92 percent to $1.9 billion in the quarter compared with $1 billion in the same period last year.

CEO’s Take: Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, said: “AWS has the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition and the team has never slowed down. As a result, the AWS services are by far the most evolved and most functionality-rich. AWS lets developers do more and be nimbler, and it continues to get even better every day. That’s why you’re seeing this remarkable acceleration in AWS growth, now for two quarters in a row.”