Belfast Telegraph

Amazon reports 22% rise in sales but misses analysts' expectations

Amazon has missed the expectations set for its financial results by analysts, but the technology giant was still able to report a 22% increase in sales in its latest earnings.

The e-commerce firm reported sales of 43.7 billion dollars (£34.9bn) for the final three months of 2016, up 22% on the 35.7 billion (£28.5bn) it reported in the same quarter of 2015. This was down on the 44.68 billion (£35.6bn) market analysts had predicted.

But the firm did report an increase in income, which was up to 749 million dollars (£597m) for the quarter, compared to 482 million (£384m) a year ago.

Amazon also used the results report to highlight the growing portfolio of products and services which the firm says are performing well. These include smart home speaker and virtual assistant Amazon Echo, Amazon Studios, its in-house TV studio that picked up 11 Golden Globe nominations, and its Prime membership scheme that includes faster delivery as well as TV and music streaming services.

The debut of The Grand Tour that stars former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond was also noted as a success, with Amazon reporting "millions" streaming the show's opening episode in November.

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said of the latest results: "Our Prime team's customer obsession kept them busy in 2016.

"Prime members can now choose from over 50 million items with free two-day shipping - up 73% since 2015. Prime Video is now available in more than 200 countries and territories.

"Prime Now added 18 new cities, which means millions more members now get one and two hour delivery. New benefits were also added to the list, like Prime Reading, Audible Channels for Prime, Twitch Prime and more. And customers noticed - tens of millions of new paid members joined the program in just this past year."

Amazon is currently running a trial of deliveries by drone in the UK, and completed its first customer delivery using their prototype Prime Air drones late last year in Cambridgeshire.

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