Amazon Prime Day delivers as sales skyrocket

Caitlin Morrison
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ONLINE retail giant Amazon smashed expectations last night, revealing $23.2bn (£14.9bn) in sales during the three months to 30 June.

Analysts had high hopes for Amazon’s sales, with forecasts of a 16 per cent jump, which the company managed to out-do, pushing revenue up by 20 per cent.

The group returned to profit during the quarter, up to $92m, compared with a loss of $126m in the same period of last year.

The company’s share price has climbed 35 per cent over the year, rising 25 per cent in the past three months alone, and shares soared by 15 per cent in after-hours trading following its results announcement last night.

It seems the hotly anticipated Prime Day sale delivered for shareholders. With the new one-day sale promising to be “bigger than Black Friday”, analysts estimate that it added $1.2bn in revenue.

Amazon said in its outlook for the third quarter that sales are expected to grow between 13 per cent and 24 per cent compared with third quarter 2014.

Boss Jeff Bezos listed Amazon’s accomplishments over the past three months, including the launch of Prime Day, Amazon Business and Amazon Mexico, as well as the group’s 11 Emmy nominations for its original series, Transparent. “The team has been working hard for customers,” he said.

The £844m deal will also see Pearson transfer FT Chinese, a web design business called FT Labs, and Financial Publishing, which includes publications such as The Banker and Investors Chronicle.

Not included in the deal is Pearson’s 50 per cent stake in the Economist Group, or the headquarters of the newspaper near Southwark Bridge. Nikkei will make a contribution to Pearson’s pension fund of around £90m.

“Pearson has been a proud proprietor of the FT for nearly 60 years. But we’ve reached an inflection point in media, driven by the explosive growth of mobile and social. In this new environment, the best way to ensure the FT’s journalistic and commercial success is for it to be part of a global, digital news company,” said Pearson chief John Fallon yesterday.

German publisher Axel Springer had been the frontrunner in the talks, but was beaten to the deal by Nikkei.

Evercore, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Cazenove, and Slaughter & May advised Pearson on the deal, while Rothschild advised Nikkei.

Shares in London-listed Pearson closed 2.07 per cent higher at 1,234p yesterday.

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