AWS net sales exceed $10B in Q1 amid COVID-19 support efforts

Amazon Web Services hit $10 billion in net sales during the first quarter of 2020, a 33 percent year-over-year growth. 

This is the first quarter AWS sales exceeded $10 billion, and they did so despite the pandemic that negatively affected most other companies. Overall, Amazon net sales were up 26 percent for the quarter, hitting $75.5 billion, although net income dropped to $2.5 billion and operating income was down to $4 billion for the quarter.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company would normally expect to make $4 billion in operating profit in the next quarter, but instead will invest it in COVID-19-related expenses and making sure employees are safe with personal protective equipment and enhanced facility cleaning, as well as investment in developing its own COVID-19 testing capabilities.

Over the past quarter, AWS has launched several initiatives, including one to support medical researchers, scientists and public health officials to provide a repository of curated, up-to-date datasets focused on the spread of COVID-19. The AWS COVID-19 data lake includes information from Johns Hopkins University, Definitive Healthcare and more to help healthcare organizations track and deploy vital resources.

The New York City COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition's conversational agent is running on AWS. The agent provides at-risk elderly patients with information about their medical needs. The nonprofit consortium Volunteer Surge is running its platform on AWS to recruit, train and deploy volunteer healthcare workers. Cerner also compiled de-identified patient data to help COVID-19 researchers in partnership with AWS.

AWS is also participating in the Salesforce Care campaign to onboard around 300 customers, including Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare and Renton, Wash.-based Providence, to rapidly stand up call center capacity as the demand for COVID-19 care spikes. AWS also launched the Diagnostic Development Initiative and committed $20 million to accelerate the work its customers are doing in developing COVID-19 diagnostic solutions.

In the second quarter, Amazon expects net sales to hit $75 billion to $81 billion, an 18 percent to 28 percent growth over last year. Operating income is expected in the range of a $1.5 billion loss to a $1.5 billion gain, lower than the same quarter last year, adjusting for $4 billion in anticipated costs related to COVID-19.


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