Amazon sales rocket amid online shopping surge

Amazon has smashed second quarter results, with revenues of $88.91 billion driven by Coronavirus growth in online shipping.

The e-commerce and cloud services giant's latest financial reports revealed that sales had comfortably beaten analysts’ expectations of $81.56 billion, confirming that it has ironed out initial struggles with a spike in demand during the early phase of the pandemic, which resulted in delayed orders and delivery bottlenecks.

Net sales increased were up 40 per cent, compared to the $63.4 billion figure for the second quarter 2019.

Online grocery sales tripled on a year-on-year basis during the period, with capacity expanded by more than 160 per cent.

Earlier this week, the company announced that that Prime members will get free grocery deliveries, starting today in London and expanding to millions of members across the UK before the end of the year, presenting a further challenge to the big four grocers’ domination of the food delivery market in the UK.

The company has created over 175,000 new jobs since March and are in the process of bringing 125,000 of these employees into regular, full-time positions.

In a forward looking statement, which the company said was subject to “substantial uncertainty” due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Amazon said it expects net sales for the third quarter to come in between $87 billion and $93 billion, or to grow between 24 per cent and 33 per cent compared with third quarter 2019.

Chief executive Jeff Bezos said: “This was another highly unusual quarter, and I couldn’t be more proud of and grateful to our employees around the globe.

“As expected, we spent over $4 billion on incremental COVID-19-related costs in the quarter to help keep employees safe and deliver products to customers in this time of high demand”

He continued that third-party sales again grew faster this quarter than Amazon’s first-party sales. "Lastly, even in this unpredictable time, we injected significant money into the economy this quarter, investing over $9 billion in capital projects, including fulfilment, transportation, and AWS.”

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