Internet colossus Amazon on Thursday reported profit shrank in the recently ended quarter despite surging sales as it poured money into growth.
The US-based company said that net sales increased 25 percent to $38 billion when compared to the same period last year, but that profit plunged 77 percent from a year ago to $197 million.
Investments, depreciation of equipment, share buys and other expenses ate into revenue in a familiar pattern of Amazon putting long-term growth ahead of short-term profit.
“Our teams remain heads-down and focused on customers,” Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said in a release.
“It’s energizing to invent on behalf of customers, and we continue to see many high-quality opportunities to invest.”
He noted recent company moves including launching a new version of home digital assistant Echo; upgrading Alexa artificial intelligence, expanding its streaming video offerings outside the US, and even adding to the companies air cargo fleet.
Amazon shares slipped some two percent to $1,024.99 in after-market trades that followed released of the earnings figures that fell short of Wall Street expectations.
The report comes as Bezos briefly dethroned Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the world’s richest person, according to an estimate by Forbes magazine.
An early jump in Amazon shares gave Bezos a net worth of $90.5 billion, half a billion ahead of Gates, but by the end of the trading day Bezos was back in the number two spot.
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