NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon reported on Thursday that its profits nearly doubled in the final three months of last year, even as it contended with surging costs tied to a snarled supply chain and labour shortages.
The Seattle-based online behemoth also said it is raising its annual prime membership fee in the United States (US) to USD139 per year from USD119. It’s the first price hike for the Prime membership since 2018. Shares of Amazon jumped nearly 15 per cent in after-market trading.
“As expected over the holidays, we saw higher costs driven by labour supply shortages and inflationary pressures, and these issues persisted into the first quarter due to omicron,” said Amazon CEO Andrew Jassy, who succeeded founder Jeff Bezos in that role last July. “Despite these short-term challenges, we continue to feel optimistic and excited about the business as we emerge from the pandemic.”
Bezos is now executive chairman.
Amazon is one of the few retailers that has prospered during the COVID-19 outbreak. As physical stores selling non-essential goods temporarily or permanently closed, homebound people turned to Amazon for everything from groceries to cleaning supplies.