back to article Global server motel, with a supermarket in the parking lot, banks $10bn profit from $233bn sales (Yes, it's Amazon)

Amazon closed out 2018 with a bang, well, a $72.4bn fourth quarter, according to figures released Thursday. The Bezos Bunch said they also logged $233bn of sales that year, and banked $10.1bn in profit. Here's a summary for the quarter, ending December 31: Revenue of $72.4bn was up 20 per cent from last year's $60.5bn Q4 …

  1. robidy

    Meanwhile UK gov does nothing to make Amazon pay it's fair share of tax in the UK.

    Just sayin' it might help an accounting hole due in a few months time...or help pay down the national debt.

    Plus provide a level playing field for UK online retailers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mark and Spencers paid more tax in the UK in a year that Amazon has done in the past 20 years.

    2. ratfox Silver badge
      Happy

      You're being too harsh! After the hard Brexit, the biggest loophole used by Amazon (a shell company in Luxembourg IIRC) will not work anymore for the UK.

      So you've got that going for you, which is nice...

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        "Amazon's international biz continues to be a drag on finances, the unit shifted $20.1bn in sales, up 12 per cent, but turned a $642m loss"

        ... so we don't have to pay any tax Mr HMRC as we didn't make any profit ...

        How an established company can increase it's turnover, have figures of $20bn and still claim a loss is astounding ... At the most fundamental level that would infer a terrible business model. Or it could possibly mean they're 'moving funds' to pay other parts of it's own organisation as 'overheads' which effectively reduces their tax burden ... but that would be immoral.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "How an established company can increase it's turnover, have figures of $20bn and still claim a loss is astounding"

          Why? As long as expenditure exceeds income, you will have a loss.

          In terms of being an established company, Amazon are still in the aggressive expansion stage, so the expenditure is still heavily weighted towards investment. And the tax advantages of doing so while you have the revenue in other markets to support it is obvious.

      2. robidy

        Many loop holes work regardless of brexit...if anything it makes it easier, your being harsh assuming Amazon will start paying more tax and not change the loop holes it's using ;)

        We can all use licencing as a loop hole to transfer profits...it works just as well in countries outside the EU...if not making it easier.

    3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      FAIL

      RE: robidy

      "Meanwhile UK gov does nothing to make Amazon pay it's fair share of tax in the UK."

      An online sales tax to target Amazon was ruled illegal by the EU. So blame them.

      https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2019/01/online-sales-tax-deemed-illegal-eu-rules/

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    $233bn in sales

    Some of that will be completely new sales but the majority of the sales used to be made by local companies who employed local people and paid local taxes. No local employment or cash for the local economy any longer, it's all leaving the country. The Bezos Bunch are getting richer and we're getting austerity.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: $233bn in sales

      Yeah, because Amazon only employs people in the US.

      1. overunder

        Re: $233bn in sales

        Maybe the comment implies the US, but you can most certainly read it as every country. If you read it that way, then the biggest concern of globalization shows its head. That's a whole different topic, but it exists, more so every day.

    2. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: $233bn in sales

      Some of that will be completely new sales but the majority of the sales used to be made by local companies who employed local people and paid local taxes

      Perhaps for the retail product sales, yes, but that's only around $64bn. The cloudy server stuff is either new business lines that were never offered by local companies, or could have been, but are primarily sold to large corporates who never operated local footprints.

      It's been clear for a long while that the Amazon web bazaar no longer has any real relevance to the AWS business, and sooner or later they will split. I'd imagine they stick with it because that's how the whole thing started, but emotion won't hold two dissimilar businesses together in the long run.

      When that happens, the web retailing business will have to deliver profits and dividends, and at least start paying serious corporate taxes, prices will go up, and other on line retailers will find it easier to grow. But that won't mean a return to bustling high streets full of local shops - the population at large have voted with their feet and their wallets, and said they don't want that.

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: $233bn in sales

        "But that won't mean a return to bustling high streets full of local shops - the population at large have voted with their feet and their wallets, and said they don't want that."

        The main problem is that the major product sold by those local shops is a resounding "NO" as stuff you want is always out of stock. If I have to wait for it to be ordered, I can also wait for it to be delivered to my home (or place of employment if I need it there) for a lower price.

  3. steviebuk Silver badge

    With all those profits...

    ...maybe he can pay the packers their fare due.

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