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Amazon made more profit during the pandemic than in the past three years

Nicole Lee
·Senior Editor
·2-min read

Last quarter, Amazon dropped the bombshell that CEO Jeff Bezos was stepping down this year, transitioning to the role of Executive Chair in Q3. For now though, Bezos and co are busy raking in the cash. It’s clear that Amazon was one of a few companies that benefited from the pandemic, thanks to the rise of online shopping. In the company’s latest earnings release, Amazon reported that it has made more profit in the past 12 months than it has in the previous three years.

From April 2020 to March 31st 2021, Amazon collected $26.9 billion in profit, while it made $24.7 billion in profit between 2017 to 2019. According to the release, net sales have increased 44 percent to $108.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021 (compared to $75.5 billion this time last year). This is the 78th consecutive quarter of double-digit year over year growth, and marks the highest growth rate since 2011.

Much of this was fueled by the huge jump in e-commerce in the past year. At the same time, the company also recently reported more than 200 million paying Prime members and 32 percent revenue growth in its Amazon Web Services cloud division. The AWS unit generated $13.5 billion, which is 12 percent of Amazon’s total revenue.

At the same time, however, the company has faced scrutiny that it is treating its workers unfairly. It had defeated a union drive earlier this month, where two third of workers at a warehouse voted not to join a union, but there were also accusations that Amazon intimidated its employees into doing so. The whole battle also shone a spotlight on the company possibly treating its employees unfairly by forcing harsh productivity quotas and work practices.

In response, Amazon said it would raise the pay for up to $3 an hour for logistics workers on top of its $15 minimum wage.