Amazon Q4 2023: A Holiday Haul Boosted by Revenue and Advertising Growth

Another great quarter for Amazon. They exceeded expectations, beating analyst estimates on both revenue and earnings. Overall revenue grew 14% to $170 billion, with profits reaching $10.6 billion. Cloud computing (AWS) remained a bright spot, growing 13% year-over-year, while online advertising emerged as a new growth engine.

International sales grew 17% to 40.2 billion. However, profit continued to remain elusive, but did improve on the previous quarter. They finished with an operating loss of $0.4bn billion. While international sales saw moderate growth, the story varies by region. Europe enjoyed strong holiday sales, particularly in Germany and the UK. However, emerging markets like India saw growth slow down.

Advertising again was the star of the show, eclipsing even AWS. Revenue surged 27% year-over-year to $14.65 billion, exceeding expectations. Advertising is rapidly becoming a major contributor to Amazon's bottom line, highlighting its potential as the new growth engine.

It was again a record-breaking holiday season. Strong online sales fuelled by Prime membership growth and more efficient delivery networks. Amazon continued to invest in physical store expansion blurring the lines between online and offline retail. They announced Amazon Style a physical clothing store, blending online and offline shopping.. It uses an app for browsing, recommendations, and checkout, with touchscreens in-store for finding sizes and styles.

Jassey also unveiled "Rufus," an AI-powered shopping assistant that will provide personalised recommendations based on user questions. The first stepping stone in the journey for amazon to embed generative search into their retail site. The new app is being tested in a few US states before full roll out. Hopefully, it will be launched in Europe later this year, if the trials go well.

And finally, In their drive for sustainability, amazon also announced that their would be more initiatives coming in the Climate Pledge programme.

In conclusion, Amazon's Q4 2023 results showcase a company firing on all cylinders. Strong core businesses coupled with strategic investments in new areas like advertising and AI position it for continued growth and innovation in the years to come.

Paul Adams, CEO & Founder

Amazon Q4