US online retailer Amazon, which earlier this week opened a 450-seat customer service centre in Cork, last night reported a 32pc increase in Q1 revenues to US$3.02bn, yielding the company a 115pc increase in profits to US$111m.
The company, which also in recent days unveiled a new music store that aims to compete against Apple’s iTunes, said the quarter’s performance was boosted by reduced spending and a reduced tax rate from 47pc down to 23pc.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, said that the company’s first-ever membership programme entitled Amazon Prime, which gives members free shipping and next day delivery, was a key aspect of the quarter’s strong performance.
“We’re pleased with our overall strong growth and especially with the number of people joining Amazon Prime,” said Bezos.
“Prime continues to grow as a percentage of overall units shipped and we’re very grateful to our Amazon Prime members.”
European highlights include the launch of two new stores – a toy store and a sports and leisure store – as well as new e-commerce services with partners like Marks & Spencer.
The company also revealed that more than 240,000 software developers have registered to use Amazon Web Services, a year-on-year increase of 50pc. As well as this, more than five billion data objects have been stored on Amazon’s S3 (simple storage service).
By John Kennedy