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Amazon wows again as Q2 sales leap to £30.4bn


Amazon by name, Amazonian in strength. The world’s biggest online retailer Thursday reported a 30%-plus leap in Q2 sales to an eye-watering $30.4bn.

That was mostly down to blockbuster growth in its cloud services unit, an increase in subscriptions for its Prime loyalty programme and booming retail sales.

Its shares closed up over 2% Thursday and rose a further 2% after hours to $768.25.

Q2 profits of $857m/$1.78 per share – its second record number and fifth straight quarter in the black – soundly thrashed analysts’ expectations for earnings of $1.11-$1.14 per share. Those sales also beat analysts’ $29.73bn call.

Core North American retail revenue jumped 28% as it continued to benefit from a shift in consumer spending to online from brick & mortar stores.

Amazon also used the earnings announcement to reveal that sales from its second annual Prime Day, where customers on their Prime membership scheme had access to exclusive deals, were up more than 60% on 2015’s event.

But it’s the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing division that impressed the most.

Demand from renting computing power to other companies saw revenues jump to $2.89bn from $1.82bn a year earlier. The unit is on track to exceed founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’s goal of reaching $10bn in sales this year.

Bezos, meanwhile, also said the company’s recent expansion into India showed its continued ambition.

“It’s been a busy few months for Amazon around the world, and particularly in India – where we launched a new AWS Region, introduced Prime with unlimited free shipping, and announced that Prime Video is coming soon.

“The team in India is inventing at a torrid pace, and we’re very grateful to our Indian customers for their welcoming response,” he said.

For the current quarter ending in October, Amazon said it expects revenues to range $31bn-$33.5bn straddling analysts’ $31.62bn view.

In a conference call, CFO Brian Olsavsky said that the company would open 18 new fulfillment centres in Q3, three times the number it opened in the same period last year.

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