Amazon’s first quarter revenue beat expectations as the unrivalled Amazon Prime service helped push net sales 28% to $29.1bn, compared with $22.7bn in the previous year.
Operating income was $1.1bn in the first quarter, up from $255m in the first quarter of 2015.
Amazon Prime has expanded, now available for Prime members in Liverpool, Leeds, Portsmouth and Surrey, guaranteeing one-hour deliveries on over 15,000 items.
“Amazon devices are the top selling products on Amazon, and customers purchased more than twice as many Fire tablets than first quarter last year,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Earlier this week, the $39 Fire TV Stick became the first product ever — from any manufacturer — to pass 100,000 customer reviews, including over 62,000 5 star reviews, also more than any other product ever sold on Amazon. Echo too is off to an incredible start, and we can’t yet manage to keep it in stock despite all efforts.
We’re building premium products at non-premium prices, and we’re thrilled so many customers are responding to our approach.”
Amazon will continue significant investment in the UK, with plans to create over 2,500 new permanent jobs this year, bringing the total number of permanent full-time employees across Britain to more than 14,500 by the end of 2016.
Hiring across include Amazon’s head office in London; three research and development centres in Cambridge, Edinburgh and London; the customer service centre in Edinburgh; 10 fulfilment centres across England, Scotland and Wales; 24 delivery stations nationwide; and the new Fashion Photography Studio in London. The internet giant said it was on track to open a new head office in in Shoreditch in 2017, providing space for 5,000 London employees.
Amazon is also looking to open two additional fulfilment centres this year, one in Manchester and one in Leicestershire.