Amazon doubles profits during lockdown posting best quarter in its history

Amazon enjoyed its best ever quarter during lockdown, seeing its profits double and hit their highest level on record.

Amazon’s sales jumped 40 per cent to $88.9 billion during its second quarter helping it achieve a net income of $5.2 billion.

This was more than double the figure from the same period a year earlier and marks its best quarterly figure since the company was founded.

It also thundered past analyst expectations, with many anticipating meagre profits or even a loss after its chief executive Jeff Bezos warned it would spend $4 billion COVID-related expenses like PPE.

This massive bill was expected to wipe out profits, but Amazon’s move to dramatically expand its capacity to meet skyrocketing demand more than made up for the increased expenditure.

READ MORE: Amazon expected to post profits despite $4bn coronavirus loss

In the three months to June 30 Amazon hired 175,000 new staff enabling it to expand delivery capacity 160 per cent.

It plans to retain around 125,000 on a permanent basis as all signs point to the boost in demand continuing well after lockdown.

Online sales during the quarter rose nearly 50 per cent to $45.9 billion, while revenue from its cloud computing business Amazon Web Services (AWS) rose 29 per cent to $10.81 billion, falling just short of analyst estimates of $10.95 billion.

Looking ahead Amazon said it expects revenues for its third quarter to come in at between $87 billion and $93 billion, slightly above average forecasts of $86.34 billion, with profits of between $2 billion and $5 billion.

It added that it planned to spend a further $2 billion on COVID-related expenses during the current quarter.

The news sent Amazon’s shares up more than five per cent bringing its market capitalisation to a whopping $1.5 trillion.

This year to date Amazon’s shares have risen more than 60 per cent, further increasing Bezos’ staggering wealth to close to $200 billion.

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