Sales at Amazon saw a rise of 31 per cent during 2017, as profits hit $3 billion. Rising from $2.4 billion in 2016, Amazon’s revenue was buoyed by a strong festive period and improved sales in its Alexa product range and cloud offerings.
Shares in Amazon have already jumped by 6 per cent following the strong financials. In total more than five billion items were sent out using its Prime service during 2017. It added that more ‘new paid’ members joined the scheme than in any previous year, both worldwide and in the US, with more than four million people signing up in one week alone last quarter Amazon said.
The company said fourth-quarter sales rose by 38 per cent to hit a quarterly record of $60.5bn (£42.4bn). Comparatively, fourth-quarter profits more than doubled to $1.9bn against $749m in the last three months of 2016.
The company's boss Jeff Bezos said that sales of its Alexa assistant had ‘far exceeded’ earlier projections. He added: "We don't see positive surprises of this magnitude very often - expect us to double down."
Amazon has also expanded its presence in the UK over the past 12 months. Earlier this week, the ecommerce giant has announced plans to create 400 new jobs by opening a new fulfilment centre in Rugby. Rugby will be the fourth Amazon fulfilment centre in the region, and joins centres in Coalville and Daventry, which opened in 2016, and Rugeley, which opened in 2011.
The online retailer said it has started recruiting managers, engineers, HR and IT specialists, with factory floor recruitment to begin in the coming weeks. Stefano Perego, Amazon’s director of customer fulfilment, said: “We are delighted to expand our operations in the Midlands where we already have a dedicated workforce of more than 2,500 people.