Amazon 2019 sales hit $280.5bn as retailer enjoys bumper Christmas

Amazon 2019 sales hit $280.5bn as retailer enjoys bumper Christmas

Amazon's 2019 sales increased 20% to $280.5bn and enjoyed a bumper Christmas period with sales up 21% on the previous year, according to its latest financial results. 

For the entire year, net sales increased 20% to $280.5bn ($232.9bn in 2018), with profits of $11.6bn. Net sales increased 21% to $87.4bn in the fourth quarter, compared with $72.4bn in fourth quarter 2018. Amazon said it earned $3.3bn in profit in its last quarter, up from $3bn a year ago. 

UK figures are included in the international division which saw net sales of $23.8bn in the fourth quarter of 2019 up from $20.8bn in the same quarter of 2018. 

Details of the online retailer's books division were not broken out but Amazon said in 2019 authors earned more than $300 million from the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Global Fund. 

Amazon added: "Millions of independent authors have self-published millions of books through KDP since launching the service in 2007. Additionally, thousands of independent authors earned more than $50,000, with more than a thousand surpassing $100,000 in royalties in 2019 through KDP."

The expansion of Amazon's one-day shipping scheme came under budget and membership in its Prime loyalty club has increased 50% in two years, with more than 150m paid Prime members around the world. 

Amazon also forecast operating income of up to $4.2bn in the current quarter, down from $4.4bn in the first quarter of 2019. Net sales are expected to be between $69bn and $73bn, or to grow between 16% and 22% compared with the first quarter of 2019.

The results sent the firm's share price up more than 13% in after-hours trade.