Amazon’s first-quarter profits totaled $513 million or $1.07 per diluted share, and compared with a net loss of $57 million, or 12 cents, a year ago. Net sales increased 28.2 percent to $29.1 billion, up from $22.7 billion a year earlier.
The company is looking for second-quarter net sales between $28 billion and $30.5 billion, or growth of up to 32 percent.
International retail sales accelerated, with increased customer engagement and customer purchases. Chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky attributed that to Prime subscribers rolls that increased “at a high clip.” He noted that last year, Prime subscriptions were up 51 percent year over year in 2015.
An increase in variety on the site was another key driver, said head of investor relations Phil Hardin. “What that means for our Prime customers is that there is more they can choose from — it makes Prime more valuable. For sellers, it means they sell more.”
In the past year, Amazon introduced a number of new products and initiatives, from new devices (a new Kindle and two Alexa-enabled devices) to an increasing foray into film, music and video, including “Style Code Live,” a daily live fashion and beauty show. It also expanded Prime Free Same-Day Delivery from 11 to 27 U.S. metropolitan areas and began the Amazon Payments Partner Program that enables Amazon Payments on external e-commerce sites.
Although it was not discussed on today’s call with investors, Amazon in the past year also began rolling out a number of private label apparel and accessories lines, which are poised to capitalize on holes in the retail assortment and compete with basics and fast fashion retailers, which traditionally have not been widely represented on the site.
Chief executive Jeff Bezos did not speak during the call, but in a release, he said that Amazon devices were the top-selling products on Amazon, and highlighted the popularity of Fire tablets, the Fire TV Stick and the Echo.
“We’re building premium products at non-premium prices,” he said, “and we’re thrilled so many customers are responding to our approach.”