Amazon sales up by a third in 2017

Amazon sales rose by almost a third in 2017, helped by the popularity of its Alexa voice assistant and an increase in Amazon Prime deliveries.

The retail giant saw a 31 per cent increase in net sales throughout 2017, to $177.9 billion (£125.1bn), compared with $136bn in 2016.

Operating income fell by two per cent to $4.1bn, compared with $4.2bn in 2016. Net income was $3bn, or $6.15 per diluted share.

In 2017, more than five billion items were shipped with Prime worldwide, with the company also seeing more new paid members joining Prime in 2017 than any previous year.

The Fire TV stick and Echo Dot were the best-selling products in 2017 across the whole of Amazon. The company also saw growing Alexa Voice Service (AVS) adoption among device manufacturers.

It also reported billions of items shipped for small and medium-sized business that were sold through Amazon worldwide.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Amazon reported a 38 per cent increase in net sales to $60.5bn, compared with $43.7bn in the same quarter in 2016.

Operating income increased 69 per cent to $2.1bn and net income was $1.9bn, or $3.75 per diluted share in Q4.

“Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic, and we far exceeded them,” said Jeff Bezos (pictured), Amazon founder and chief executive. “We don’t see positive surprises of this magnitude very often — expect us to double down. We’ve reached an important point where other companies and developers are accelerating adoption of Alexa. 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. Much more to come and a huge thank you to our customers and partners.”