|By Susan Konig | 3 years ago|
2017 was a record year for Amazon. The firm just released its fourth-quarter earnings which indicates a stellar holiday season was had by the retail giant. According to the release, the company made $60.5 billion in the last few months, a nearly 36 percent increase over this time last year. It all adds up to a Q4 net income of $1.9 billion, its biggest recorded profit ever, thanks, in part, to a $789 million tax boost.
While Amazon doesn’t typically comment on its sales per category, CEO Jeff Bezos said much of this recent growth has to do with the rise of Alexa adoption in recent years. “We’ve reached an important point where other companies and developers are accelerating adoption of Alexa,” he said in a statement. “There are now over 30,000 skills from outside developers, customers can control more than 4,000 smart home devices from 1,200 unique brands with Alexa, and we’re seeing strong response to our new far-field voice kit for manufacturers.”
Another highlight of Amazon’s earnings report is the substantial growth of Prime membership. It states that more new paid members have joined Prime in 2017 than in any previous year, and that in last year alone, more than five billion items were shipped worldwide via Prime. Some of this may be attributed to incentives by the firm to boost Prime membership, including monthly options for college students and discounts for those with EBT cards.
Additionally, the report notes that the Fire TV Stick and Echo Dot were best-selling products for Amazon in 2017. The firm also highlighted the release of its new Kindle Oasis, new Amazon furniture brands by the name of Rivet and Stone & Beam, and the launch of Amazon Go, its new cashier-less store in the report. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t break down its product sales by division, so it’s difficult to know just how profitable each sector is.
As always, Amazon Web Services remains an important part of the firm’s growth strategy, recording $5.1 billion in sales last year. The cloud service grew 45 percent from this time last year, adding several sizable enterprise customers including Disney, Expedia and Ellucian.