Amazon proves cloud is a money-spinner as Q1 revenue hits $29.1bn

29 Apr 2016

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon stock went up 12pc in after-hours trading last night after the company reported Q1 revenues of $29.1bn, yielding its biggest profit ever of $513m, thanks to its fast-growing Amazon Web Services division.

Amazon joined Facebook as one of the few bright breaks in a storm of negative results from players like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel.

The e-commerce and now cloud giant reported a profit of $513m or $1.07 a share, compared with a loss of $57m this time last year.

Looking ahead to Q2, Amazon is predicting sales of between $28bn and $30.5bn.

Clouds clear over Amazon

The growth was mainly driven by Amazon’s cloud business, Amazon Web Services, which saw a 64pc increase in revenues to $2.57bn and is now the most profitable business in the Amazon family, even more profitable than Amazon’s North American retail business.

During the quarter, Amazon increased its foray into hardware, launching the Kindle Oasis, its thinnest Kindle yet, as well as two voice-controlled devices for ordering goods, including the Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Tap.

“Amazon devices are the top-selling products on Amazon, and customers purchased more than twice as many Fire tablets than first quarter last year,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of

“Earlier this week, the $39 Fire TV Stick became the first product ever — from any manufacturer — to pass 100,000 customer reviews, including more than 62,000 five-star reviews, also more than any other product ever sold on Amazon.

“Echo, too, is off to an incredible start, and we can’t yet manage to keep it in stock despite all efforts. We’re building premium products at non-premium prices, and we’re thrilled so many customers are responding to our approach,” Bezos said.

Jeff Bezos image via Steve Jurvetson on Flickr (Creative Commons)

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years