Amazon 2018 sales hit $232.9bn as retailer enjoys record fourth quarter

Amazon 2018 sales hit $232.9bn as retailer enjoys record fourth quarter

Amazon's 2018 sales increased 31% to $232.9bn as the online giant revealed a record $72bn revenue for the fourth quarter, in its latest financial results. 

For the entire year, net sales increased 31% to $232.9bn ($177.9bn in 2017). Operating income increased to $12.4bn ($4.1bn in 2017). Net income increased to $10.1bn, or $20.1 per diluted share, compared with net income of $3.0bn, or $6.2 per diluted share, in 2017.

In the final three months of 2018, including Christmas trading, net sales increased 20% to $72.4bn in the fourth quarter, compared with $60.5bn in fourth quarter 2017. 

Operating income increased to $3.8bn in the fourth quarter, compared with operating income of $2.1bn in fourth quarter 2017.

Amazon has forecast lower-than-expected sales for the first three months of the year with the online giant expecting sales to grow between 10% and 18% in the first quarter saying a hit from foreign exchange rates is partly to blame. Shares of the company fell 5% to $1.635 after the bell, said Reuters

In books, Amazon said in 2018 its authors earned more than $260m from the Kindle Direct Publishing Select Global Fund, totalling more than $840m since the launch of Kindle Unlimited. 

Amazon added: “Hundreds of thousands of 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 2018 through KDP.”

UK figures are included in the international division which saw net sales of $20.8bn, up from $18bn in the same quarter of 2017.