Amazon posts fourth quarter of record profit

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Amazon has posted a fourth successive quarter of record profit.

The online retailer and cloud computing provider said net profit more than doubled to $3.56bn (£2.76bn), beating analyst estimates.

Revenue growth slowed, however, in part because of weaker sales outside the US. Sales rose 17% to $59.7bn. It expects sales growth of 13% to 20% for the next three months.

And expenses growth slowed, albeit to a rate of 12.6%.

Sales for Amazon Web Services rose 41% to $7.7 billion in the three month period to the end of March.

“The benefits of cloud computing are clear for the user, and with profits up 59% this quarter, so are the advantages for Amazon,” said George Salmon, an analyst at stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown.

“While the cost of building the data-driven infrastructure to support the cloud systems is vast, the fact it requires such deep pockets actually works in Amazon’s favour. It’s difficult to see how a new challenger can wrestle business away from the likes of Amazon, Google, and the latest member of the $1tn club, Microsoft.”

Microsoft has seen its stock market value top $1tn after reporting better-than-expected sales and profits.

The US software giant passed the mark briefly on Thursday, before its share price fell back.

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