Amazon makes $1bn a month as growth slows | Technology

Amazon made a profit of more than $1bn a month for the first three months of the year, the company announced on Thursday.

The retail and tech giant reported a profit of $3.6bn for the three months ending 31 March as sales reached $59.7bn. Profits were more than double last year’s and the company has now recorded four straight quarters in a row of record profits.

Amazon’s growth, however, appears to be slowing, according to its latest earnings statement. In North American revenues grew 17% increase, compared with 46% growth last year, while international growth dropped to just 9%, down from 34% for the same period last year.

The company’s cloud service division, AWS, which hosts data for companies including Netflix, Unilever, Airbnb and others continued its solid growth with a 41% sales increase, although that too was a decrease from last year’s 49% growth.

The founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, used the company’s latest results to give the company a positive spin as criticism of its work and business practices has mounted.

The results came on a day when the Verge revealed Amazon was using software to track and fire warehouse workers who do not hit its high productivity targets.

In his letter to shareholders Bezos highlighted the company’s Amazon Future Engineer programme which gives scholarships to children and young adults in low-income communities to pursue careers in computer science.

“The son of a working single mom, Leo Jean Baptiste grew up speaking Haitian Creole in a New Jersey home without internet access. He’s also one of our inaugural group of 100 high school seniors to receive a $40,000 Amazon Future Engineer scholarship and Amazon internship,” said Bezos. “He rose to the top of his class and is set to study computer science at college this fall, with the dream of getting a job in machine learning.”

The company’s shares rose 1.4% in after hours trading.

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