Amazon today said India continues to be a “good story” for the US e-tailing giant, even as its losses from its international operations widened to US $919 million for the December 2017 quarter.
According to a PTI report: The operating loss in Amazon’s international business was at US $487 million during the year-ago period.
However, net sales in the segment grew to US $18.03 billion in the fourth quarter, from US $13.96 billion a year ago.
“India continues to be a good story for us. We feel that it’s had a lot of growth in the past year. In fact, more Prime members joined India’s Prime programme in the first year than we’ve seen in any other country in the history of the world, our world,” Brian Olsavsky, Senior VP and CFO, Amazon was quoted by PTI as saying.
He added that the company is increasing Prime eligible selection, and continues to add other Prime benefits such as Prime Music (to be introduced soon).
Last year, Amazon had also introduced ‘Alexa’ in the Indian market. It had launched Amazon Prime in India in 2016.
On a consolidated basis (including international, North America and Amazon Web Services), Amazon registered profits at nearly US $2 billion in the said quarter compared to US $749 million in the year-ago period.
The Seattle-based firm posted 38 per cent rise net sales to US $60.5 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with US $43.7 billion in the December 2016 quarter.
For the entire 2017, international losses grew to US $3 billion, from US $1.28 billion in 2016. The segment’s net sales, on the other hand, grew to US $54.2 billion from US $43.9 billion.
Amazon has pumped in billions of dollars into its Indian operations, where it is locked in an intense battle with local rival Flipkart.
One of its India units, Amazon Seller Services, alone has received over Rs 8,000 crore (about US $1.28 billion) during financial year 2017-18 from the US parent, as per documents filed with the India’s corporate affairs ministry.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has committed investments to the tune of US $5 billion for the Indian market. Investments have also been made in other Amazon entities in India, including Amazon Pay and its wholesale business here.
These investments have been directed towards building warehouses, strengthening logistics and increasing product assortment.
Amazon is also investing significant money in marketing and promotions as the company looks to bring more consumers onto shopping online on its platform.