Amazon’s profits more than tripled in the first three months of 2021 according to business news

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Amazon’s earnings were $ 8.1 billion (£ 5.8 billion) for the first three months of 2021 – more than three times the same period last year.

The online marketplace is among those companies that have succeeded during the various government lockdowns aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

With many millions of people being forced to stay in their homes, Amazon relied on supplies to be delivered.

Since the pandemic began, the company has made four record profits in a row, gained more than 200 million Prime customers, and hired more than 500,000 people to keep up with demand.

Revenue grew 44% to $ 108.5 billion (£ 77 billion). That made Amazon one of only four US companies to post over $ 100 billion in quarterly revenue (the others being Apple, Exxon Mobil, and Walmart).

Revenue from Amazon’s advertising business grew 77% and its cloud computing business, which supports the online operations of Netflix, McDonald’s, and others, increased 32%.

Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said many companies are looking to outsource their technology infrastructure to Amazon Web Services.

“We expect this trend to continue as we near the post-pandemic recovery,” he said.

Jeff Bezos. Image: AP
Picture:
Jeff Bezos will step down as Chief Executive this year to take on a role as Executive Chairman. Image: AP

However, COVID-19 has added costs: the company has bought cargo planes and new warehouses to bring its items closer to customers and expedite delivery.

Amazon has also faced activism within its workforce, recently with one Union efforts defeated in a warehouse in Alabama.

The union formation push was the largest in Amazon’s 26-year history, and it was only the second time such an effort had reached the voting stage within the company.

The criticism of the company’s working environment seemed to give cause The inclusion of Mr Bezos earlier this month: “We have to do a better job for our employees”.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, said Amazon’s vulnerability is physical retail.

“For us, Whole Foods is revealing Amazon’s Achilles heel: great as it is when it comes to functional factors like convenience, operability, technological innovation, etc., it lacks a certain soul when it comes to creating inspiration and excitement.

“This is especially true in physical spaces, but it also shows in the way the website works and the difficulty of getting a foothold in some areas like luxury fashion.

“At one level it doesn’t matter as Amazon’s capabilities and differentiation reside elsewhere.

“However, that weakness is one of the great opportunities for other retailers. As a retailer like Target shows, focusing on things that Amazon isn’t that good is a recipe for considerable success.”

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