Amazon net sales increased 20 percent to $72.4 billion in Q4 2018

On Thursday, Amazon released its fourth-quarter holiday results, which topped $72 billion in total sales on the e-commerce site, representing a 20 percent increase year over year and beating analyst estimates.

It also found the company had turned over £6.86 billion in the United Kingdom since 1998, but made £213 million profit - including five years of losses.

Amazon increased the price of Prime past year, and free two-day shipping has become a common offering from other retailers. That's a 29.6 per cent margin versus 26.5 per cent. AWS had operating income of $7.3 billion for 2018 to Amazon North America's $7.27 billion.

An investigation by the Mirror found that Amazon UK Services had paid £61.7 million corporation tax in the UK in the last 20 years. Both are double-digit improvements over the previous year. Advertising and AWS are Amazon's fastest-growing segments, and the two are increasingly being used in tandem by marketing technology companies and ad agencies.

Revenues of $232.9bn were up by 31 per cent from $177.9bn past year.

Net income increased to $10.1 billion, or $20.14 per diluted share, compared with net income of $3.0 billion, or $6.15 per diluted share, in 2017. Past year it unveiled a new program to help people start their own delivery businesses.

Full-year AWS revenues of $25.7bn, up 47 per cent from $17.5bn a year ago.

Operating income increased to $12.4 billion, compared with operating income of $4.1 billion in 2017.

"There's a bit of uncertainty", he said, adding that Amazon's goal is to minimize the impact on its customers and sellers.

Amazon was light on specifics but said that 2018 was the biggest holiday shopping season ever for Amazon devices.

The number of devices with Alexa built-in more than doubled in 2018 to over 150. "And customers spoke to Alexa tens of billions more times in 2018 compared to 2017".

There's always some fly in the ointment, of course.

But Saunders said sales growth appears to have slowed as Amazon matured, raising questions about its future path.

Amazon shares bounced around in after-hours trading on Thursday after the e-commerce giant reported better-than-expected revenue and earnings in its crucial holiday quarter, but a lukewarm sales forecast tempered the market's reaction. But Amazon's revenue guidance for the current quarter fell short of expectations. Amazon projected first-quarter growth to hit between 10 and 18 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

Ad sales and "other" revenue jumped 95 per cent to US$3.4-billion in the fourth quarter.

Amazon's shares, which closed up 2.9 percent, to $1,718.73, fluctuated in after-hours trading - falling by more than 1 percent before rising by almost 3 percent.

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