Amazon clocked a profit of $345 million in its international business, helped by an increasing number of people buying online. The e-commerce giant is witnessing such profits in its global business for the first time, as the past few quarters had reported losses.
Amazon’s net sales increased 40 per cent to $88.9 billion in the second quarter, compared with $63.4 billion in second-quarter 2019. Despite the pandemic, Amazon’s net income doubled to $5.2 billion in the second quarter, compared with net income of $2.6 billion in the same period in 2019.
“The international segment was profitable this quarter, and that’s a great sign. It is heavily driven by the pickup in demand that we saw,” said Brian T Olsavsky, senior vice-president and chief financial officer, during the Q2 earnings call. According to him, Amazon is operating in healthy established countries and the company has accelerated the adoption of its paid subscription programme — Prime. The programme gives users access to additional services. “So, there’s a bit of a forward investment on Prime benefits in many of those countries. But what you also see are investments in new countries. Obviously, India is the biggest one, but also, to a lesser extent, the West Asia, Brazil, Turkey, and Australia are recent additions. So, there’s always an element of expansion going on,” said Olsavsky.
David Fildes, director investor relations, Amazon, said the firm was focused on digitising the Indian sellers. These include a lot of micro, small and medium-sized businesses. “We launched some new features there to help support the digitisation efforts,” said Fildes. Amazon plans to help digitally enable small businesses across the country as part of the $1-billion investment pledge.
Amazon Chief Jeff Bezos said the firm spent over $4 billion in the quarter to keep staff safe. “We’ve created 175,000 new jobs since March and are bringing 125,000 of these employees into regular, full-time positions.”