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## Amazon’s Strong Performance Driven by E-commerce Business

By Natalie Sherman \
Business reporter, New York \
3 August 2023 \
Updated 3 hours ago

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### Introduction

Amazon’s e-commerce business experienced a notable improvement in the second quarter of the year, following a period of lackluster spending in a sluggish economy. This surge in performance can be attributed to the company’s efforts to enhance its delivery network’s speed and efficiency under the leadership of CEO Andy Jassy.

### Financial Results

The boost in Amazon’s e-commerce business contributed to an impressive 11% year-on-year increase in overall sales, reaching $134.4 billion (£105.4 billion), surpassing expectations. The company achieved record-breaking results during its Prime Day in July, with a staggering 375 million items purchased. Additionally, the firm reported quarterly profits of $6.7 billion (£5.2 billion), a significant improvement from the $2 billion loss seen the previous year, marking its largest profit in over a year. These results were applauded by Jassy, who described them as “another strong quarter of progress.”

### Diversification of Revenue Streams

Beyond its renowned online shopping operations, Amazon’s financial performance is heavily influenced by other segments such as its cloud computing business, AWS, and its advertising division. The company highlighted that AWS sales remained stable with a 12% year-on-year increase, as businesses exhibited reduced concerns about the economy. Notably, advertising revenue experienced a substantial surge of 22% year-on-year.

### Positive Economic Outlook

Amazon’s impressive results align with recent data suggesting a gradual lifting of the dark clouds looming over the global economy. Although consumers remain cautious about their budgets due to rising prices, there are signs indicating a slowdown in these increases. Notably, Amazon’s online sales, which had previously shown no growth, rose by 4% year-on-year during the April to June period, indicating an encouraging trend for the remainder of the year. Even the company’s international business, which faced declines a year ago, witnessed approximately 10% growth in sales.

### Driving Efficiency and Investing in Artificial Intelligence

Under the leadership of CEO Andy Jassy, Amazon has implemented cost-cutting measures and improved operational efficiency. This involved significant job cuts and an overhaul of the delivery network, resulting in regional routing of orders to enhance the customer experience. Jassy emphasized the company’s continued investments, particularly in artificial intelligence. The market’s interest in AI has driven share prices to surge, with Amazon’s shares already witnessing a 50% increase this year. Following the latest financial update, the company’s shares experienced further growth of over 7% in after-hours trade.

### Future Outlook

Julian Skelly, managing partner at digital consultancy Publicis Sapient, Europe, acknowledged the strength of Amazon’s ecosystem and expressed optimism about the company’s performance in the second half of 2023. With signs of slowing inflation and broader market growth, the company is well-positioned for better-than-anticipated results in the coming months.

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