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Amazon Sales Up 20 Percent in Second Quarter

Amazon.com announced net sales grew 20% in the second quarter to $23.18 billion, year over year – but after excluding the impact of foreign exchange, it grew sales 27%. Those are impressive numbers these days in ecommerce.

Worldwide unit growth was up 22%, and worldwide seller units accounted for 45% of all paid units, showing the benefit of Amazon’s third-party seller business which, its CFO noted, helps improve selection.

Amazon had 285 million active customer accounts worldwide in the quarter.

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The company’s new Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky presented Q2 earnings and answered questions from analysts. He had some of the same patter as his predecessor Tom Szkutak, but when it came time to describe the success of company’s recent July 15th Prime Day results, Olsavsky called it “Christmas in July,” saying it surpassed all of its expectations. He said customers saved millions, people signed up for Prime and bought more devices than on any other day. (Note that Prime Day took place in the third quarter – the second quarter results do not reflect the July 15th deals day.)

Amazon, which some quarters shows a net loss, reported net income of $92 million in the second quarter. The Seattle Times wrote, “Amazon.com blew away analyst expectations for the second quarter, posting larger than expected revenue and a $92 million profit when most analysts expected a loss.”

Analysts on the post-earnings conference call seemed most interested in Amazon’s AWS business. But one analyst noted that the second quarter seemed to have the greatest headcount growth (number of employees) ever in a quarter. Olsavsky said headcount was up 38% year-over-year. “The vast majority of that is in operations where we’re adding people for our new FCs (Fulfillment Centers) and Call Centers.”

The Puget Sound Business Journal has more on headcount, including this factoid: the company currently employs 24,000 people in the state of Washington.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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