Amazon 2017 sales up by nearly a third

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Online retail giant Amazon saw sales jump by nearly a third last year, and said its Alexa digital assistant had “far exceeded” expectations.

Full year revenue came in at $177.9bn (£124.6bn), a rise of 31%.

Net income – or profit – was $3bn, compared with $2.4bn in 2016.

The company’s performance in the final three months of the year was driven by a surge in online shopping during the holiday season and strong demand for its cloud services.

Fourth quarter sales rose by 38% to $60.5bn (£42.4bn).

Fourth quarter net income was $1.9bn against $749m in the last three months of 2016.

The fourth quarter results include a tax benefit of about $789m related to the new US tax law.

The company’s boss Jeff Bezos said projections for its Alexa assistant had been very optimistic and the company had “far exceeded them”.

“We don’t see positive surprises of this magnitude very often – expect us to double down.”

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